Reproduction and development of laboratory and wild house dust mites (Acari: pyroglyphidae) and their relation to the natural dust ecosystem

Hart, B. J., Crowther, D., Wilkinson, T., Biddulph, P., Ucci, M., Pretlove, S., Ridley, I. and Oreszczyn, T. (2007) Reproduction and development of laboratory and wild house dust mites (Acari: pyroglyphidae) and their relation to the natural dust ecosystem. Journal of Medical Entomology, 44(4), pp. 568-574. ISSN (print) 0022-2585

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Life histories of "wild" house dust mites, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Trouessart) (Acari: Pyroglyphidae), were compared with laboratory cultures by using a diet consisting of skin and dust or a laboratory diet consisting of dried liver and yeast. Under constant conditions of 25 degrees C and 75% RH, fecundity and rate of reproduction were higher in laboratory cultures on both diets compared with wild mites. There were also trends for a shorter prereproductive period and more rapid egg development of laboratory mites compared with wild mites. Overall, there was little effect of diet on either strain of mites at 75% RH. At low RH (64%), fecundity was significantly lower (for both strains on both diets), and there were also trends for longer prereproductive period, reduced rate of reproduction, reduced adult survival, prolonged egg and juvenile development, or a combination compared with 75% RH. Additionally egg and juvenile mortality were significantly higher on the liver and yeast diet. Overall, the skin and dust diet favored both strains of mites at 64% RH. On the liver and yeast diet at 64% RH, wild mite adults performed significantly better than laboratory mites, and egg mortality was lower. These results suggest that laboratory mites have stronger reproduction and development than wild mites, except when under environmental stress and that diet is a significant factor, particularly in suboptimal conditions. This could have important implications for predictive models of house dust mite populations in their natural habitat. Ideally, such models should be developed using data from wild dust mite populations reared on a natural diet.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funded by UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council grants GR/S70661/01 and GR/S70678/01.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 'Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus', wild populations, life history, 'Dermatophagoides-pteronyssinus acari', 'Farinae acari', life-cycle, humidity, temperature, populations, mortality, selection, constant, eggs
Research Area: Architecture and the built environment
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (until 2017) > School of Architecture and Landscape
Depositing User: Stephen Pretlove
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2009 09:44
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 12:56

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