The species, Neumania papillator, is a water mite invertebrate of the Neumania genus and Arthropoda phylum as described by Marshall in 1922 (ITIS 1996).This particular species is commonly found in natural aquatic ecosystems such as fresh water lakes (Thorp & Covich 2001), small rivers and the Atlantic-Maritime (Smit & Hammen 1992). According to Thorp & Covich, this species is known to form discrete communities mostly based on their adaptations in the natural setting.
The table below shows the Linnaean taxonomy of the Neumania papillator species as reflected in both the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Websites. According to the ITIS database, Neumania genus was founded in 1888 by Trouessart. It is imperative to note that the National Centre for Biotechnology Information database does not make any mention of the Neumania papillator species together with its genus (NCBI n.d.).
|ITIS||Animal Diversity Web|
|Domain||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
|Phylum||Arthropoda, Arthropodes, Artro’pode||Arthropoda|
|Class||Arachnida, Arachnids, Aracnideo, Araigne’es||Arachnida|
|species||Neumania papillator||Neumania papillator|
As the above table depicts, Neumania papillator belongs to the Arachnids Class. The Arachnids are known for their paired and often disjointed appendages, hardened exoskeleton, segmented body, and a comprehensively developed head. The body of the Arachnids consist of three components – head, thorax and abdomen. In most occasions, the head is fused together with the abdomen. Arachnids are known to have six pairs of appendages on their bodies. To mention them summarily, the appendages can be grouped into three main categories, namely the claw-like fangs, the walking legs, and the general purpose mouth parts (Arachnids 2009). Most Arachnids are known to live on land and are fresh-eating predators. However, the Neumania papillator is mostly aquatic.
The Neumania papillator species is closely related to 13 other species within the Neumania genus. These species includes Neumania armata, Neumania oenotea, Neumania distincta, Neumania extendens, Neumania flagilis, Neumania hickmani, Neumania kodiakica, Neumania longiseta, Neumania ovata, Neumania pubescens, Nuemania semicirculais, Neumania spinipes, and Neumania tenuipalpis (Myers et al 2008). In its family classification, Neumania is closely associated with Huitfeldtia, Koenikea, Najadicola and Unionicola. Examples of other animals that are closely related to the Nuemania papillator include wandesia, attractides, tertonia, and wettina (Thorp & Covich 2001). They are also closely related to ticks and spiders (Arachnids 2009).
Regarding the geographic distribution, the Neumania papillator is found in fresh water lakes in the US, small streams in the US, Canada, and Italy, and in the coastal strips in the Netherlands and North-western France (Thorp & Covich 2001; Smit & Hammen 1992 ). Males are less common to find than females. This can be explained by the fact that males die soon after mating with the females.
Although there has been a noted difference of habitat preference between the male and female members of the species, successful incursion and exploitation of preferred geographical localities have often depended on the development of compatible adaptive approaches for the invertebrates. Adult members of the Neumania papillator have been found to favour fresh water lakes and ponds for their feeding, growth and reproduction.
In their larval stage, this type of water mites has been found to prefer “parasitism and dispersal on hosts” (Thorp & Covich 2001. p. 568). As is the case with other species of Neumania genus, the water mites are consistently provided with chances to colonize new geographical locations by the passive transport mode of their larva on hosts. Overall, Neumania papillator species is mostly found in seepage areas of streams, riffle habitats, and sand and gravel deposits found in rivers to depths of 1mm or more. Other preferred natural habitats include permanent ponds, marshes, temporary pools, swamps and bogs (Thorp & Covich 2001)
The lifespan of most water mites of the Neumania papillator species is generally short. Consecutive studies have revealed that most water mites of this species living in temperament latitudes do not exceed one year of life. Most of this time is exhausted in deutonymphal and adult stages. However, males have a far shorter lifespan than their female counterparts since they die immediately after or a few days after mating with females (Thorp & Covich 2001).
During the initialization of the mating season, males are known to chemically communicate with the females by vigorously fanning some water over the spermatophore nets towards the females. In other words, the courting males vigorously vibrate their legs to fan pheromones directly to their female counterparts. The females respond to this stimulation as they usually respond to vibrations caused by moving prey (Manning & Dawkins 1998).
During the mating process, the females distinguish the males as prospective mates only after the courting males have deposited some spermatophores (Mate Choice 2000). The fact that this type of water mites appears to have no identifiable sex chromosomes, a condition known as diplo-diploid, is rather interesting. According to Thorp and Covich, the mated females have the capacity to live for many months, continuing to feed in their natural settings while producing some clutches of eggs.
The water mites mostly mate towards the end of summer but fertilization is usually delayed. However, the females release their eggs only when they are fertilized by the males. In Neumania papillator species, the males do not appear to discriminate between unmated and previously mated females. Indeed, they undertake to mate with all the female members they encounter. Eventually, the male water mites within this species produce considerably higher number of spermatophores for unmated or virginal females. (Thorp & Covich 2001).
According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2009), the Neumania papillator is not endangered as it is not included in the database. The threat that can be depicted regarding the species is the continued human encroachment in its natural habitats. Ponds, streams and lakes continue to be polluted by human activities at an alarming rate, and it’s only a matter of time before the Neumania papillator is included in the red list of the world’s most endangered species.
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