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15 June 2011 Host associations between laelapine mites (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) and palustrine rodents in Paraguay: a study of host specificity and cryptic species
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Abstract

Host specialization has contributed to the high diversity of laelapine mites associated with Neotropical rodents, but the lack of taxonomic development at the species-level has confounded study of the coevolutionary history of both host and ectoparasite groups. Morphometric comparisons of presumptive polyxenous laelapine species infesting a diverse assemblage of palustrine rodents in Paraguay clearly reveal that each host species is infested by a morphologically distinct mite population. The nominal taxa Laelaps manguinhosi, Gigantolaelaps goyanensis, and G. mattogrossensis may be composites of morphologically distinct but similar species with narrower host preferences. These results suggest that laelapine mites are primarily monoxenous, and that numerous currently unrecognized species may be discerned by standard morphometric techniques.

© 2011 Systematic & Applied Acarology Society
Donald Gettinger, Carl W. Dick, and Robert D. Owen "Host associations between laelapine mites (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) and palustrine rodents in Paraguay: a study of host specificity and cryptic species," Systematic and Applied Acarology 16(2), 145-159, (15 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.11158/saa.16.2.3
Accepted: 1 January 2011; Published: 15 June 2011
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