In this study, the prevalence and intensity of the ectoparasitic mite Wetapolipus ja‐miesoni was examined on two colour morphs of the mountain stone weta Hemideina maori, collected from the Rock and Pillar Range in the province of Otago, New Zealand. We scored success of mites by identifying whether mites were alive or dead on hosts. We determined whether these indices of mite success related to morph or sex of adult weta. Our data indicate that there were no differences in mite prevalence, or in intensity of mite parasitism, between males and females of the two weta morphs. However, the interaction between morph and sex accounted for significant variation in proportion of dead mites on hosts. Specifically, black females had proportionately fewer dead mites than black males, yellow males, or yellow females. These data did not corroborate earlier findings that yellow individuals had higher immune expression than did their black conspecifics following challenges with immuno‐genic Sephadex beads. This study underscores the importance of comparing results obtained by various methods when examining susceptibility of hosts to their parasites.

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Keywords Colour polymorphism, Ectoparasitism, Podapolipidae, Randomisation tests
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Journal New Zealand Journal of Zoology
Robb, T., Forbes, M, & Jamieson, I.G. (2004). Engorgement success of parasitic mites on adult sexes of the colour polymorphic mountain stone weta. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 31(3), 249–254. doi:10.1080/03014223.2004.9518377