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Individual variability of setal morphology in Nenteria pandioni (Acari: Mesostigmata: Uropodina): Genetic variability or aging?

Adamski, Zbigniew, Błoszyk, Jerzy, Gwiazdowicz, Dariusz
Biologia 2008 v.63 no.2 pp. 236-244
Mesostigmata, acarology, adults, branches, gene pool, genetic variation, juveniles, mites, new species, Poland
Results of research on the chaetotaxy and morphology of setae in Nenteria pandioni (Acari: Uropodina) from Poland are presented. Certain idiosomal setae were found to be variable in structure. This variability may result from differences within the gene pool and/or from intra-specific variation associated with the process of aging. A full range of setal morphology was observed — from simple and needle-like setae to those with many notches and branches. Variability was observed only among adult mites (both sexes), not in juvenile stages. Marginal, ventral and adanal setae were most variable. Incomplete or superficial examination of setal morphology, without considering setal variability, may cause mistakes in taxonomic research and may also limit the value of this feature as diagnostic character in acarology. Therefore, variability of setae should be carefully accounted for during description of new species, because some setae are not stable in their shapes, whereas others have fixed shape. Finally, hypotheses to explain the observed pattern in setal variability in mites are proposed.