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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Apparent parthenogenetic reproduction in Collembola has sometimes been attributed to accidental transfer of spermatophores with the food material from one culture to another (Schaller, 1953; Mayer, 1957). Conclusive evidence of parthenogenesis has only in recent years been accumulated for a number of species of Collembola, of which some were found in field populations consisting entirely of females (Choudhuri, 1958; Huther, 1961; Marshall and Kevan, 1962; Petersen, 1965; 1971 ; Snider, 1973). In Onychiuridae, parthenogenesis is apparently quite common. Onychiurus parthenogeneticus Choudhuri and Tullbergia krausbaueri (Bomer) undoubtedly reproduce in the absence of males (Choudhuri, 1958; Hale, 1966; Petersen, 1971); so does Tullbergia granulata Mills, where individuals reared in isolation from the time of hatching invariably lay viable eggs (unpublished observations). Large females of Onychiurus procampatus Gisin 1956 breed through a form of thelytokous parthenogenesis (Hale, 1964). The size groupings found in O. procarnpatus (two sizes of females and only small males) were also observed in O. firnatus Gisin 1952 and O. quadriocellatus Gisin 1947 and may indicate the existence of both parthenogenetic and sexually reproducing forms in these species (Hale, 1964).

Recent laboratory observations on Protaphorura armatus (Tullberg) revealed that this species too reproduces parthenogenetically. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of temperature on the biology of the species.

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