Ticks found tradition of blood feud

October 13, 2012 16:30

Scientists have found that ticks Iphiseius degenerans, who were attacked by larvae relatives of another kind, do not forget that as adults. In retaliation, they attack the larvae of their abusers. The paper was published in the journal Scientific Reports, a summary of its results Site ScienceNow.

Zoologists have studied two types of free (non-parasitic) mite — Iphiseius degenerans and Neoseiulus cucumeris. These animals feed mainly on pollen, but sometimes also attack the larvae and their group rivals. Not all such attacks end fatally for the larvae — many of them grow and can take revenge on their oppressors.

The authors found that those mites Iphiseius degenerans, which in the larval stage were attacked Neoseiulus cucumeris, often attacking the larvae of the latter. If an attack occurs in adulthood, then the frequency of retaliatory attacks are not affected. Interestingly, the availability of alternative food — pollen, did not reduce the frequency of attacks perpetrated.

Thus, the scientists were able to show that even in arthropods experience from a young age, memorized and can influence behavior. Kill the competition does not give advantages mite itself, but it helps to survive the species as a whole. Appropriateness revenge specific type of competitors and the mechanisms underlying the selection of such behavior, scientists have yet to be established.

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