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THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE TERRESTRIAL ISOPOD PORCELLIO SCABER LATREILLE AND ONE OF ITS DIPTERAN PARASITES, MELANOPHORA RORALIS (L.) (RHINOPHORIDAE)

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ABSTRACT Melanophora roralis (L.), a rhinophorid fly, was reared from naturally infected sowbugs, Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt) and Porcellio scaber Latreille, collected at several locations in the eastern United States, the majority from P. scaber. Aspects of the host-parasite interaction were studied in a large sample of isopods from North Carolina. The flies were sexually dimorphic for body size, and varied in size as a function of individual host size. Differences between the fly sexes were due to their differential utilization of a common range of host sizes rather than to the use of different host sizes; this result was directly confirmed with laboratory rearings of full sibships. Two potential indicators of individual fitness, adult longevity, and female fecundity, were direct functions of parasite, and hence host, size. The size dimorphism in Melanophora roralis, and physiological features associated with it, may reflect adaptations in this parasite for population persistence at low population densities.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, California 92521

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/content/journals/10.2307/1548074
1984-01-01
2016-12-07

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