Imprinted or innate food preferences in the model mite Archegozetes longisetosus (Actinotrichida, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae)

Short communication


  • Adrian Brückner Ecological Networks, Technische Univeristät Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
  • Romina Schuster Ecological Networks, Technische Univeristät Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
  • Timo Smit Ecological Networks, Technische Univeristät Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
  • Michael Heethoff Ecological Networks, Technische Univeristät Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany


Behavioral ecology, soil fauna, choosy generalist


Most oribatid mites are opportunistic feeders with a broad variety of different food sources. However, preferences for certain food such as dark pigmented fungi, led to the ‘choosy generalist’-hypothesis. The mechanisms behind this idea and whether oribatid mites have an innate or learned preference for food are unknown. We used Archegozetes longisetosus Aoki to test whether mites prefer unknown high quality food or food they have experienced before. We found that A. longisetosus did not prefer known food, and that food preferences were innate and not due to imprinting/learning behavior.



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How to Cite

Brückner, A., Schuster, R., Smit, T., & Heethoff, M. (2018). Imprinted or innate food preferences in the model mite Archegozetes longisetosus (Actinotrichida, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae): Short communication. SOIL ORGANISMS, 90(1), 23–26. Retrieved from