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Morphology of preadult stages of Laelaps agilis Koch, 1836 with notes on life history and feeding habits (Acari/Mesostigmata: Laelapidae)

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Laelaps agilis C. L. Koch, 1836 is an abundant ectoparasite on Apodemus spp. It has 5 stages: egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult male and female. All preadult stages from egg to deutonymph are described and illustrated. Because of the structure of the chelicera it seems likely that L. agilis feeds at abraded areas of the skin. All active stages but the larva feed. Unfed females can produce progeny, but will die within 22 days. Egg to adult is 10 days for males and 13 days for females kept at 90 % RH and 30°C.

Affiliations: 1: A. Edler, Dept. Anim. Ecol., University of Lund, Ecology Building, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden; 2: L. Solomon, Dept. Biol., Lab. Zool., "Al. I. Cuza" University, Calea 23 August 20 A, 6600 lasi, Roumania


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