Ecology of Postlarval Stages of Chigger Mites.
Annual rept. (Final) 1 Apr 80-31 Mar 84,
GEORGIA UNIV ATHENS DEPT OF ENTOMOLOGY*
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The ecology of chiggers presents a complex and multidimensional set of ecological questions. The research conducted here represents a two-pronged approach to answering the most fundamental of these question What are the endogenous constraints which act to regulate chigger populations within a particular environment How do chigger populations interact with their associated biotic community To answer these questions, a combination of research was conducted combining both laboratory and field approaches. Eight microhabitats were sampled for postlarval Eutrombicula alfreddugesi Oudemans and E. splendens Ewing. Five microhabitats soil, surface litter, tree holes, tree stumps and logs yielded postlarvae. Soil arthropod communities were analyzed and compared between sites with and without chigger larvae in three habitats old field, woods, field-woods combined. Models of development rate and development time distribution were developed from laboratory investigations of each stage in the life cycle of Eutrombicula alfreddugesi Oudemans.