Saturday 27 August 2016

Aulonastus similis: A new species of Quill Mite from Veracruz State, Mexico.

Quill Mites, Syringophilidae, are highly specialized Mites, Acari, that live within the quills of the feathers of Birds, feeding on fluids from the feather folicles. This is harmful to the plumage of the host, and many Quill Mites are considered to be pests in comercial and domestic Bird-keeping. For a long time the classification of Quill Mites has been based upon morphology, though this has been problematic as Mite living inside feathers have little room for morphological variation, but the advent of genetic taxonomy has led to a far better understanding of relationships within the group.

In a paper published in the journal Systamatic Parasitology on 19 June 2016, Lukasz Broda of the Department of Animal Morphology at Adam Mickiewicz University, Miroslawa Dabert of the Molecular Biology Techniques Laboratory, also at Adam Mickiewicz University, and Eliza Glowska, again of the Department of Animal Morphology at Adam Mickiewicz University, descibe a new species of Quill Mite from the Los Tuxtlas Tropical Biological Station in Veracruz State, Mexico.

The new species is placed in the genus Aulonastus, and given the specific name similis, which is derived from Myiozetetes similis, the formal name of the Social Flycatcher, the Bird on which it was first discovered. The species is essentially similar in morphology to the previously described Aulonastus euphagus, though some of the hairs differ in length and the specis canbe separated by genetic analysis. The species was found in two species of Passarine (Song) Birds, the Social Flycatcher and the Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Habia fuscicaudai. 

Aulonastus similis, female. (1) Dorsal view; (2) Ventral view. Broda et al. (2016).

See also... natanziensis: A new species of Laelapid Mite from Isfahan Province, Iran. Laelapid Mites are a large and diverse group, including free-living carnivorous forms as well as both obligate and facultative parasites (species that feed... new species of Gall Mite from Tripura State, northeast India.                                   Gall Mites (Eriophyidae) are small Archnids related to Spider Mites and Scrub Itch Mites. They are exclusively parasitic, targetting higher plants. Gall Mites have only two pairs of legs, and an... new species of Feather Mite from Saudi Arabia.                                                        Mites (Acari) are small Arachnids related to Microwhip Scorpions (Palpigradi) and Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida). They are one of the...

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