A parasitic association of Odonata (Insecta) with Arrenurus Dugés, 1834 (Arachnida: Hydrachnida: Arrenuridae) water mites

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Raymond J. Andrew
Payal R. Verma
Nilesh R. Thaokar


The parasitic association between water mites (Arrenurus spp.) and Odonata is virtually ubiquitous wherever habitats suitable for both taxa exist.  Yet, very little is known about this association within and among the odonate species of India.  Here, we present a report on this parasitic relationship in the population of odonates of Wena Dam of Central India observed during the years 2011 and 2012. Of the 376 odonates collected for observation, 35(9.3%) individuals belonging to seven species (Acisoma panorpoides, Brachydiplax sobrina, Ceriagrion coromandelianum, Crocothemis servilia, Diplacodes trivialis, Neurothemis tullia tullia, Trithemis pallidinervis) were found to be parasitized by the Arrenurus spp. mites.  The mites were found attached to the undersurface of the thorax and abdomen.   In all the cases, the thorax was found infested while only in seven individuals the abdomen as well as the thorax was found infested with mites.  A maximum number of mites on an individual dragonfly was in C. servilia (293) followed by T. pallidinervis (134) while the highest parasitic load per individual host species was found in T. pallidinervis (70.25%) followed by C. servilia (32.6%).  The average parasitic load per individual female and male was 39.77 and 8.9, respectively.

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