The respiratory system of Halarachne halichoeri (Halarachnidae: Gamasida: Anactinotrichida)


  • P. J. A. Pugh

    1. British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
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Halarachne halichoeri Allman (Halarachnidae: Anactinotrichida), a parasitic mite occuring in the nasal cavities of the grey seal, Halichoerus grypus, has an unusual apneustic respiratory system, which is described in detail. The main functions of this system are to facilitate gaseous (tracheal) respiration and prevent foreign material being forced into the tracheae under increased pressure experience when the host seal dives. Possible responses of the system to the rapidly changing pressure regimes are described.