No difference in the juveniles of two Tectocepheus species (Acari: Oribatida, Tectocepheidae)
2011 - Volume: 51 Issue: 2 pages: 199-218
The juveniles of the parthenogenetic species Tectocepheus sarekensis and T. velatus were obtained in rearing experiments and then analyzed morphologically. This is the first description of T. sarekensis juveniles and a re-description of T. velatus immatures. The comparison of the immatures of both species demonstrated that no obvious morphological differences are detectable. Although it is known that juvenile morphology may be very homogeneous within a genus, this is the first report of morphologically identical instars of two different oribatid species. The analysis of literature dealing with Tectocepheus immatures generated ambiguous results as certain descriptions are partly incomplete and unclear. These problematic results may reflect difficulties in the identification of adult Tectocepheus specimens. Only the nymphs of T. alatus could be clearly distinguished from T. sarekensis and T. velatus juveniles. Nevertheless, the overall juvenile morphology within the genus is homogeneous. The investigation of the eggs of T. sarekensis showed that the exochorion consists of coin-like formations that adhere to the endochorion whereas fibrous sticky material is dispersed between these coins.
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