Predation in suspended and forest floor soils: observations on Australian mesostigmatic mites
2007 - Volume: 47 Issue: 1-2 pages: 43-54
This paper reviews the feeding habit of mesostigmatic mites from soil and litter of Australian forests. It reports on the feeding habit of 69 species-level taxa (39 newly observed; 30 from the literature) belonging to 36 genera and 16 families of Mesostigmata. Feeding observations were made in small laboratory arenas where mites were offered sympatric arthropods or cultured rhabditid nematodes, springtails and mites. Most species tested readily fed on nematodes and springtails and many attacked the nymphs of mesostigmatic mites. A few fed on the fluids of crushed or decomposing arthropods. As indicated by studies on other continents, our results support the hypothesis that many soil Mesostigmata, including both ground and canopy species, are generalist predators that feed on nematodes and a variety of arthropod prey. These findings also suggest that some Mesostigmata are opportunistic scavengers.
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