Uropodidae, Kramer, 1881

Juvara-Bals, S. I. & Bertrand, M., 2014, OBITUARY Doctor Françoise ATHIAS BINCHE (1946 - 2013), Acarologia 54 (2), pp. 125-134: 128

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http://doi.org/ 10.1051/acarologia/20142120

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From the Uropodidae   to a global overview

Ecological way of life, adaptations to the environment and evolutive process can explain, at least in part, repartition of the organisms. Françoise develops these concept and the uropodids are THE model: they are dependent of the resource, they need homogenous life conditions, but they are adapted to dispersion by the phoresy on more mobile insects that permits gene dispersion and contributes to the continuum of the communities. In 1984 she began to publish in this domain in Acta Oecologica (1984), Acarologia (1984), Pedobiologia (1985), Research and Review in Parasitology (1993).

In 1994, she made syntheses of the acquired knowledge in a small book that she edited herself: "La phorØsie chez les acariens". She adopted an evolutive angle of view, based on the examples collected in different groups, mixing phoretic and parasitic species. She illustrated and attempted to illustrate the models of the gradation from free living organism, to emergence of phoretic behavior, to gradual existence of parasitic phases to the ultimate stadium: the permanent parasites. She refers to many groups of mites, notably to Hydracarina that has been already used to express this gradation (Mitchell, 1967, 1970).

The phoresy can be considered, according each case, as accidental, frequent or/and obligatory. If it is obliged, phoresy is the best way for dispersion and to exploit rare and/or transient resources. Attractivity of the host facilitates greatly its efficiency and G.W. Krantz (1991) showed the gradation towards selectivity of the carrier by the phoretic organism in the Macrochelidae   . Temptation is great to consider that phoresy is a first step towards parasitism ( Athias-Binche & Morand, 1993): predation is often determined by olfactive attraction, selective phoresy too, and some organisms may have got concrete this temporary association by transient ectoparasitism. The discussion with parasitologists was fructuous: Françoise considered more and more the global evolutive schema, and envisaged that phoretic behavior could be a, too often ignored, tool for speciation, notably by progressive reproductive isolation! (see notably Combes, 1995). It was a great step toward integrative biology!