Seasonality of some Chihuahuan Desert soil oribatid mites (Acari: Cryptostigmata)

TitleSeasonality of some Chihuahuan Desert soil oribatid mites (Acari: Cryptostigmata)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsWallwork J.A, MacQuitty M, Silva S, Whitford WG
JournalJournal of Zoology, London (A)
Date Published1986
Accession NumberJRN00041
Call Number00357
Keywordsarticle, articles, breeding,mites, journal, journals, mite,oribatid, mite,rainfall, mite,reproduction, rainfall simulation, microarthropods, reproduction,mites, soil mite,oribatid

1. Reproductive strategies of four species of oribatid mites were investigated in the Chihuahuan Desert from 1981 to 1984. 2. Breeding activity coincided with the summer rainfall period in three of the four cases: Passalozetes neomexicanus, P. californicus and Jornadia larreae. This pattern was not changed by the application of simulated rainfall at other times of the year. The strict seasonality of reproductive behavior is interpreted as an outcome of strong selection pressure to recruit only when food quality and quantity and microclimate are most favorable. 3. Joshuella striata showed a more flexible pattern which was essentially bimodal. Periods of egg production occurred in winter and also during the summer rainfall period. This pattern is consistent with the known distribution of this species in winter- and summer-rainfall deserts in south-western USA.