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Some field and laboratory observations on the British harvest mite, Trombicula autumnalis Shaw

  • D. M. Minter (a1)

1. Previous attempts to feed the postlarval stages of the British harvest mite, Trombicula (Neotrombicula) autumnalis Shaw, are outlined briefly.

2. Methods by which mites were collected from the field are described and discussed.

3. The methods adopted for providing a suitable artificial environment in the laboratory, and the method by which feeding trials were conducted are described. The materials and organisms supplied as possible sources of food are listed, together with the results obtained when these were offered to nymphs or adults in controlled trials.

4. The feeding behaviour of adult mites in response to the eggs of an Entomobryid Collembolan, Sinella curviseta Brook, is described.

5. The nature of the probable diet in nature is briefly discussed.

6. The possible influence of ecological isolation on the evolution of polymorphic larval types is discussed.

7. The effect on the mite population of the destruction of rabbits, the principal vertebrate host in the experimental area, by myxomatosis is outlined.

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André, M. (1920). Contributions à l'étude d'un acarien: le thrombicula sp. autumnalis Shaw. Mém. Soc. zool. Fr. 29, 39138.
Elton, C. & Keay, G. (1936). The seasonal occurrence of Trombicula autumnalis Shaw on voles and mice near Oxford. Parasitology, 28, 110–13.
Hirst, S. (1915). On the ‘harvest bug’ (Microtrombidium autumnalis, Shaw). J. Econ. Biol. 10, 73–7.
Jones, B. M. (1950). A method for studying the distribution and bionomics of Trombiculid mites (Acarina: Trombidiidae). Parasitology, 40, 113.
Jones, B. M. (1951). The growth of the harvest mite, Trombicula autumnalis Shaw. Parasitology, 41, 229–48.
Keay, G. (1937). The ecology of the harvest mite (Trombicula autumnalis) in the British Isles. J. Anim. Ecol. 6, 2335.
Lipovsky, L. J. (1951). Collembola as food for chiggers (Acarina, Trombiculidae). J. Parasit. 73, 324–6.
Lipovsky, L. J. (1954). Studies of the food habits of postlarval chiggers (Acarina, Trombiculidae). Kans. Univ. Sci. Bull. 36, 943949.
Michener, C. D. (1946). Observations on the habits and life history of a chigger mite, Eutrombicula batatus. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 39, 101–18.
Richards, W. S. (1950). The variation of the British harvest mite (Trombiculidae, Acarina). Parasitology, 40, 105–17.
Sasa, M. & Miura, A. (1953). Studies on the life-history of Tsutsugamushi (Trombiculid mites) of Japan in the laboratory. (Studies on Tsutsugamushi, Part 34). Jap. J. Exp. Med. 23, 171–85.
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  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
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