A novel association between oribatid mites and leafy liverworts (Marchantiophyta: Jungermanniidae), with a description of a new species of Birobates Balogh, 1970 (Acari: Oribatida: Oripodidae)

Colloff, Matthew J., and Cairns, Andi (2011) A novel association between oribatid mites and leafy liverworts (Marchantiophyta: Jungermanniidae), with a description of a new species of Birobates Balogh, 1970 (Acari: Oribatida: Oripodidae). Australian Journal of Entomology, 50 (1). pp. 72-77.

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Abstract

This paper contains a description of a new species of oribatid mite, Birobates hepaticolus sp. nov., from eucalypt woodland and rainforest in North Queensland, Australia. Adults and immatures of B. hepaticolus live completely enclosed within the ventral lobules of the corticolous liverwort Frullania ferdinandi-muelleri Steph. The ventral lobes provide a protected, moisture-buffered microhabitat on tree bark that would otherwise be subject to extremes of wetting and drying. Analysis of gut contents indicates that B. hepaticolus appears to feed on liverwort tissue. To our knowledge this is the first documented example of an association between an oribatid mite and a leafy liverwort based on the provision of food and habitat. The genus Birobates is redefined and diagnosed.

Item ID: 17341
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: epiphyte, eucalyptus woodland, microhabitat, Queensland, rainforest, taxonomy
ISSN: 1440-6055
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2011 05:57
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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