Phytophaga, XIV (2004): 299-305
I S S N: 0393 - 8131
an obligatory inhabitant of the fluid-filled pitchers
is a carnivorous plant with a patchy distribution in
coastal Oregon and northern California, USA. A number of arthropod species in-
habit and exploit its fluid-filled pitchers; among these is a hististomatid mite,
, an obligate inhabitant that feeds on the rich microbial
growth associated with decomposing arthropods captured by the pitcher. Males seek
out and clasp tritonympal females, guarding them from other males by means of an
enlarged second pair of legs. Upon molting, mating takes place. Eggs are laid on the
pitcher wall above the fluid line, and, upon hatching, larvae move under the fluid.
While larvae and protonymphs remain submerged, other instars can be found both
below and above the pitcher fluid. Development from egg to adult is approximately
nine days at 20
C and six days at 25
C. Mites overwinter as deutonymphs, with the
first non-deutonymphal instars found in mid-March. Dispersal to newly forming
pitchers on the same plant or closely adjacent plants is through ambulatory activity
of deutonymphs rather than phoresy.
Key words: Sarraceniopus
, phytotelmata, pitcher plant.
In recent years phytotelmata have been praised as excellent subjects
for testing community theory since they harbor arthropod communities and
are natural microcosms that contain relatively few species, can be easily
manipulated, and provide for replication. To date, such communities have
been used to investigate local and regional variation in food web structure,
the meaning of food web patterns, and predation and competition in patchy
habitats (see Kitching, 2000 for review). Although mites are common inhabi-
tants of phytotelma, often occurring in large numbers, little is known con-
Contribution of the 5
EURAAC - Symposium, Berlin 2004.