Senckenberg Publications

J. Jagersbacher-Baumann & E. Ebermann

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Julia Jagersbacher-Baumann Institut für Zoologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz,
Universitätsplatz 2, 8010 Graz, Austria


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Ernst Ebermann Institut für Zoologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz,
Universitätsplatz 2, 8010 Graz, Austria

 

 

Thanatosis and morphological adaptations in the mite genera Lamnacarus and Pygmodispus (Acari, Heterostigmatina, Scutacaridae)


Abstract

In the mite family Scutacaridae, several species belonging to different genera show thanatosis or ‘playing dead’ behaviour. Some of them possess morphological features that are obviously connected with this behaviour. We compared the morphological adaptations to thanatosis in females of Lamnacarus ornatus Balogh and Mahunka, 1963 to those in Pygmodispus (Allodispus) pavidus Ebermann, 1997. To exhibit no point of attack to predators, the mites must retract their legs and cover them with adapted structures. Although the principles of the morphological adaptations to thanatosis are similar in P. (A.) pavidus and L. ornatus, there are differences in their completion.

Keywords

Thanatosis, morphological adaptations, Scutacaridae, Pygmodispus pavidus, Lamnacarus ornatus


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