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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309529

Research Project: Mite Systematics and Arthropod Diagnostics with Emphasis on Invasive Species

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: The role of the integument with respect to different modes of locomotion in the Nematalycidae (Endeostigmata)

Author
item Bolton, S. - The Ohio State University
item Bauchan, Gary
item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron
item Pooley, Christopher
item Klompen, H. - The Ohio State University

Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2014
Publication Date: 1/1/2015
Citation: Bolton, S.J., Bauchan, G.R., Ochoa, R., Pooley, C.D., Klompen, H. 2015. The role of the integument with respect to different modes of locomotion in the Nematalycidae (Endeostigmata). Experimental and Applied Acarology. 65:149-161.

Interpretive Summary: Soil mites are important in agricultural and environmental conservancy, they represents 40 to 80% of the soil fauna. They are important bio-indicators of the soil ecosystem and they have a major role in the biodegradation of organic material. We studied the locomotion of worm-like mites which appear to move through the soil using peristalsis. However, our studies found that the mites expand and constrict their mid-sections allowing the anterior and posterior regions to contract and expand independently. This type of locomotion would allow the mites to anchor themselves on to secure positions before extending their anterior regions through tight spaces. Low-temperature scanning electron micrographs indicate that surface skin features are associated with this mode of locomotion. This study will be important used by scientists in biology, ecology and systematic.

Technical Abstract: Previous research on the locomotion of the Nematalycidae has only been undertaken on Gordialycus, which is by far the most elongated genus of the family. Gordialycus is largely dependent on an unusual form of peristalsis to move around. It was not known if the genera of Nematalycidae with shorter bodies also used this mode of locomotion. Our videographic recordings of Osperalycus did not reveal peristalsis. Instead, this mite appears to move around the mineral regolith via the expansion and constriction of the metapodosomal and genital region, allowing greater versatility in the way that the annular regions contract and extend. This type of locomotion would enable relatively short bodied nematalycids to anchor themselves into secure positions before extending their anterior regions through tight spaces. Low-temperature scanning electron micrographs show that the short bodied genera have integumental features that appear to be associated with this mode of locomotion. Peristalsis is almost certainly a more derived form of locomotion that is an adaptation to the unusually long body form of Gordialycus.