Weaver news

PAPER: Prostigmatan mites in weavers

2012-12-24 (311)

Skoracki M. Zabludovskaya SA, Bochkov A. 2012. A review of Prostigmata (Acariformes: Trombidiformes) permanently associated with birds. Acarina 20 (2): 67-107.

Abstract. Prostigmatan mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata) permanently parasitizing birds are reviewed at the familial level. Keys to all genera and lists of included species along with verified host records are provided. This ecological group includes about 500 species in 5 families: Cheyletidae (Cheletosomatini, Ornithocheyletiini, and Metacheyletiini), Syringophilidae, Harpirhynchidae (Harpirhynchinae and Harpypalpinae), Cloacaridae (Pneumophaginae), and Ereynetidae (Speleognathinae). The original and reference data on the external morphology, phylogeny, systematics and the host-parasite relationships of these mites are summarized.

weaver with most parasites

This paper describes the taxonomy of 5 mite families, followed by a discussion of the host-parasite relationships:
(1) Microhabitats on the host body. Prostigmatan mites that are permanently associated with birds, occupy a wide spectrum of microhabitats on the host body: skin, subcutaneous layers, nasal cavities, feather quills, and bronchi.
(2) Host specificity and evolution on birds - this is discussed for each mite family
(3) Biology - the biology of bird-associated prostigmatans is poorly known. They are characterized by a relatively low prevalence index. The damage caused by prostigmatans to their avian hosts is very varied. Prostigmatans colonize new hosts in two main ways — from parents to nestlings and in the time of contact between adults. In syringophilid mites only the fertilized females disperse from one host to another, while the males never leave the feather quills.

Photo (above): Red-headed Quelea, the weaver spcies with the most species of Prostigmata mites.

An appendix lists the Prostigmata species permanently parasitizing birds and their hosts. Here the weaver birds are extracted from the paper.

Weaver species Prostigmata mite species
White-headed Buffalo-Weaver Dinemellia dinemelli Picobia dinemellia , Krantziaulonastus yoyomi
Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius Metharpyrhynchus namibiensis
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea Coboydaia clavata, Neocheyletiella queleae
Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops Syringophiloidus seiuri, Syringophilopsis nitens, Coboydaia clavata
Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens Coboydaia clavata
Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus Coboydaia clavata
Yellow-mantled Widowbird Euplectes macroura Coboydaia clavata
Compact Weaver Pachyphantes superciliosus Syringophiloidus seiuri, Ornithocheyletia orioli
Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius Harpypalpus dubinini
Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus Coboydaia clavata
Vitelline Masked Weaver Ploceus vitellinus Syringophilopsis nitens, Coboydaia clavata
Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni Coboydaia clavata
Holub's Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops Coboydaia clavata
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht Coboydaia clavata, Syringophiloidus seiuri
Blue-billed Malimbe Malimbus nitens Syringophilopsis nitens

Download a pdf of this paper here.

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