Jul 302015

Slender pigeon lice are primarily found in the feathers on wings of pigeons. It is the typical parasite for Columba livia, but many other types of lice can be found on it.

Here are again remarquable photos from Paul Leroy of this very common parasite.

This species is belonging to the family of Philopteridae. With the same name of the family, I understand they like the wings (Philo-pter) of their hosts, as it is where they are usually found…

You will much probably never see all the species of this family on mites-and-parasites.org as there are 138 genera and 2945 species according to phtiraptera.org, at the date of publication of this post.

This species was, is-it original ? first described by Linnaeus !

I pinpoint this strange document on behaviour of pigeon louse which had been studied by M. Rakshpal, for different types of smells, temperatures and contacts.


Jul 282015

Hello world ! I am the first surprised to publish photos of an Hydrachnidia. A colleague, on a French forum on insects, sent me some samples of water mite larvae collected on the Irish damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum in the family of Coenagrionidae), in the French vulcan park in the very center of France.

We made a microscopic mount and some photos of a non gorged larva. We are happy to share the result with you.

I warmly thank Reinhard Gerecke, Andrzej Zawal & Peter Martin for their friendly help for proposing the Arrenurus genera for this mite.

The possible species are Arrenurus bicuspidator, Arrenurus tetracyphus, or another not larva described species.

At this stage, Coenagrion lunulatum species is not yet known as Arrenurus host.

More information will follow if I get some.

Thanks for your comments if any.


Jul 062015

If you are interested in honey bees or mites you probably have heard about this pest ! Varroa destructor sounds like a horrible monster, a sort of Terminator of our familiar honey bees. But this pest exists from ages. It is true that human activities has spead this pest all over the world, probably except Australia and Man Island (why ?), but I express some doubts about the fact that they are responsible of colony collapse disaster. A factor ? Maybe one factor among many other stronger factors like neonicotinoids ?

This is a sentitive question, my purpose here is only to show you two examples of this pest, show you the hidden beauty of this obese mite !

For years, among naturalists, there have been confusion between Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni, it seems that the confusion is now over, and the common species we find in our European hives is Varroa destructor. Anderson & Trueman clarified the classification in a famous study. You will find plenty of publications on this subject on the internet.

If you happen to find fresh such mites, send us some examplaries in alcool, we will be happy to inspect, determine, and make some new photographies.


Currently identified species of Varroa :

  • Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, 2000 is a virulent parasite that infests its natural host, Apis mellifera (western honey bee) worldwide and Apis cerana (Asian honey bees).
  • Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans, 1904 is a relatively benign parasite of Apis cerana.
  • Varroa rindereri de Guzman & Delfinado-Baker, 1996
  • Varroa sinhai (Delfinado & Baker, 1974)
  • Varroa wongsirii (Lekprayoon & Tangkanasing, 1991)