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The 20th anniversary of a model mite: A review of current knowledge about Archegozetes longisetosus (Acari, Oribatida)

Heethoff, M.; Bergmann, P.; Laumann, M. and Norton, R.A.

2013 - Volume: 53 Issue: 4 pages: 353-368

DOI: 10.1051/acarologia/20132108
Date received: 2013-09-02, Date accepted: 2013-11-12, Date published: 2013-12-19

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) © 2013 Heethoff, M.; Bergmann, P.; Laumann, M. and Norton, R.A.

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model organism; Chelicerata; Acari; Oribatida
With about 10,000 described species and densities reaching 400,000 ind/m2, the Oribatida (without Astigmata) represent the most prevalent group of soil mites. However, with the exception of their taxonomy, many aspects of the biology of oribatid mites have been poorly studied. This might be explained in part by the previous lack of a model species. However, in the last 20 years, more and more non-taxonomic studies regarding development, genetics, morphology, chemical ecology and ecotoxicology have become available, with a significant number focused on the trhypochthoniid oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus. A well-defined laboratory strain of this pantropical parthenogenetic species was established in 1993 by one of us (RAN), and has since spread through numerous laboratories worldwide. In this review, we summarize the scientific achievements this lineage has enabled while becoming a model system for general zoology, ecology and evolution.

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Photos: Varroa destructor (Varroidae) on a honey bee. Low temperature -Scanning electron microscopy photograph. Material collected and fixed for LT-SEM: J. Pettis, USDA-ARS-Bee Lab. and R. Ochoa, USDA-ARS-SEL; LT-SEM photo: E. Erbe and C. Pooley, USDA-ARS-CEMU © USDA; Petrobia harti (Tetranychidae) © INRA - Alain Migeon; Dermanyssus gallinae (Dermanysssidae) © Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon - Lise Roy; Adult Ixodes sp. (Ixodidae) engorging on an Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica © Andy Darrington; Panonychus ulmi (Tetranychidae): hatching of a winter egg © Université de Lausanne - Centre de microscopie électronique - Cazelles
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