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Phoretic Association Between the Dauerjuveniles of Rhabditis Stammeri (Rhabditidae) and Life History Stages of the Burying Beetle Nicrophorus Vespilloides (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

Rhabditis stammeri is a carrion-dwelling nematode specifically associated with the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. The dauerjuveniles of the nematode utilize the beetle for transport to the carrion. Both imagines and larvae of the beetles are infested. This can be understood in the context of the complex brood care behaviour of Nicrophorus. In the beetle larvae, the dauerjuvenile: use the gut for transportation to the pupal chamber. After pupation the dauerjuveniles are founc in the pupal chamber at protected places such as the exuviae of the larvae or underneath the hindwing-anlagen of the pupae. Upon eclosion the dauerjuveniles migrate to the genitalia and gul of the young imagines. Rhabditis stammeri is also transmitted by imagines via copulation.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Zoologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 1-3, D-1000 Berlin 33 Germany


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