Term of Award

Spring 1987

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

James H. Oliver, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Osburn

Committee Member 2

David Hagan

Abstract

Mating behavior, spermiogenesis, egg maturation, and male mating capacity of Dermanyssus gallinae (DeGeer) (Gamasida: Dermanyssidae) are described. Insemination is podospermal, via spermadactyls inserted into sperm induction pores located near the posterior of coxae III. Mating behavior is of the "Amblyseius-Typhlodromustype," requiring 14 minutes to one hour. One or both sperm induction pores may be utilized. Spermatophores isolated during mating were spherical, translucent, permeable to stain and approximately 200 jum in diameter with a smaller neck where they were held by male chelicerae. Observation and measurement of approximately 200 spermatozoa from male reproductive tracts, spermatophores, unfed and fed mated females indicate spermatozoa in this species may not develop beyond irregularly rounded non-polar cells with granular cell membranes, agranular cytoplasm and large, densely-staining nuclei with average cellular and nuclear dimensions of 8.00 by 11.72 and 3.70 by 3.90 /μm, respectively. Several spermatozoa were observed in medial ovarian tissue of unfed females one day after mating, and spermatozoa were not found in five unfed females 32 days after mating. Egg maturation and protonymphal development appear staggered, as opposed to synchronous. Data suggest males may be incapable of successfully inseminating more than three or four females in the same number of days.

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