Ecological Requirements of Chigger Mites.
Annual technical rept. no. 1, 1 Apr 80-31 Mar 81,
GEORGIA UNIV ATHENS DEPT OF ENTOMOLOGY
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The objectives of this research include 1 establishing laboratory methods for rearing trombiculid mites, 2 identifying the ecological requirements of the freeliving adult stages, and 3 ascertaining the biotic associations of freeliving stages. The first years work concentrated on locating foci of chiggers and quantifying densities of unengorged, infective larvae. Over 600 vertebrate hosts were examined, from which fourteen species of chigger were identified. The washing method of chigger recovery from hosts was improved and quantified, by measuring recovery of known larval densities. Laboratory cultures of Eutrombicula spp. were started from engorged larvae. In field work, vinyl pastic squares were used in a removal trapping technique to measure chigger population sizes. Major foci of Eutrombicula were found in decomposing pine logs. Field experimentation is using pine logs in 4 x 4 M pens containing lizard hosts, for continued study of chigger bionomics. Sampling of the biota associated with trombiculids was initiated using tullgren extraction and flotation of soil samples with a Ladell apparatus. Author