Senckenberg Publications

paper Ladislav Miko


Ladislav Miko Faculty of Environmental Sciences,
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague,
Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic

Institute for Environmental Studies,
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science,
Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic



Oribatid mites may actively migrate faster and over longer distances than anticipated: experimental evidence for Damaeus onustus (Acari: Oribatida)


The ability of active dispersal of Damaeus onustus C. L. Koch, 1844 was studied under laboratory conditions. Six individuals were observed in 15 repetitions, each at least for 30 minutes. The overall time of observation reached 278 minutes. Mites moved actively for several tens of minutes, mostly away from the source of light and heat (negative thermo- and phototaxis). The maximum speed measured reached 3.12 mh-1; the average speed was 1.00 mh-1 with median at 0.86 mh-1. The specimens differed mutually, both in maximum and average speed (the latter ranking between 0.49 and 1.82 mh-1). During the experiment all individuals were able to reach a distance of at least 10 cm from their starting point, the maximum distance was 28.2 cm. Based on the measured distances it may be assumed that Damaeus onustus is able to disperse actively faster and over larger distances than generally anticipated of oribatid mites, particularly in escape from non-favourable conditions.


oribatid mites | active migration | speed | dispersal | Damaeus onustus