2003. 11 (1)



About authors:

I.A. Akimov, Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, 01601 Ukraine
I.V. Badanin, I.I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, В. Khmelnitskogo, 15, Kiev, 01601 Ukraine
Zabludovskaya S.A., Schmalghausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Ukraine, B. Khmelnitzky str. 15, Kiev, Ukraine


The specificity of endotrophic parasitism of ereynetid mites is mostly related to their habitation in the mucous parts of the nasal cavity of verte-brates. With no doubt, the origin of obligate para-sitism of ereynetids is connected with their pread-aptation to feeding on decomposing organic sub-strates, which are rich in proteins. It is confirmed by facultative parasitism of the recent myxotrophic forms of ereynetids. An evolution of olfactory organs of the potential hosts could, to a considera-ble extent, canalize adaptive changes of the gnath-osoma of parasitic ereynetids towards their spe-cialization to the blood feeding. The extreme de-gree of specialization of these parasites is well demonstrated by the optimization of their ontogen-esis and the decreased number of active stages in the life cycle. Their occupation of the nasal cavity as ecological niche was apparently followed by wide irradiation of species onto different groups of vertebrates. It made it possible for them, in a certain sense, to avoid the evolutionary deadlock and to save high hostal specificity as well as the topical one. In general, the formation of cavitary parasit-ism in the Ereynetidae as a progressive phenome-non in their evolution resulted not only in the considerable widening of the mite initial adaptive zone, but also in maximal stabilization of their environment.


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