Jan 012016
 

Hello world ! Mites and Parasites wish you a happy new year 2016 ! We wish you as few parasites as possible, unless for scientific studies… We wish you nice discoveries and wonderful photos of microworld !

As the new year is always an opportunity to take good resolutions, then I will suggest myself, for year 2016, to show you more oribatid mites… this is one of my weak points ! So to show you that I am working on my 2016 resolution, I show you, for the first post of this year, an oribatid mite extracted from the collection of MNHN, Paris !

Have you ever heard about ptychoïd oribatids ? Ptychoïdy is a mechanical defence in some groups of Oribatida, where the animals can retract their legs into the idiosoma and encapsulate. For this reason they are commonly called box mites. Our today subject is Euphthiracarus crassisetae, nearctic oribatid mite. This mite is belonging to the family of Euphthiracaridae.

 

Euphthiracarus polytretos is the name indicated on the prepared slide mounted by Professor Walker. It is a former synonym of Euphthiracarus crassisetae, according to World catalog of Oribatid mites from Subias. Subias is a real phenomenon for having performed such an exhaustive catalog of world oribatida. He has our full respect !

The inscriptions on the slide show :

  • Name of species : Euphthiracarus polytretos
  • Biotop : partly decayed coast, reduced stump, litter, humus, soil
  • Locality : Smith river Del Norte Co., California
  • Context : Fort Hays Studies
  • Reference of slide : 47D4
  • Mounting media : Euparol
  • Sex : male
  • Determinator : Walker
  • PARATYPE

In relations with this specimen, I found the following reference on the net : Walker, N.A. (1965): Euphthiracaroidea of California Sequoia Litter: with a reclassification of the families and genera of the world (Acarina: Oribatei). Fort Hays Studies, New series, Science series 3: 1-154.

As I am interested in etymology, I will stress the point that crassisetae means thick setae… One of these short and thick setae appear on the shown images.

On the enclosed photomicrographs you can notice :

  • Details of cuticle with smart little circles,
  • Detail of club-shaped sensilium,
  • Detail of gnathosoma, you can notice that the lateral part of gnathosomal capsule is not ornamented,
  • The shown chelicera is part of a second mout with dissected parts of Euphthiracarus crassisetae.

Once again we wish you a Happy New Year 2016 !

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Dec 212015
 

Here are microscopic photos taken from a microscopic mount of the MNHN, Paris. This mite is Listrophoroides (Marquesania) papuanus, identified by Alex Fain from Tropical & Medical Institute of Anvers. This fur mite parasites pale field rat, known as Rattus tunneyi.

The pale field rat, also known as Tunney’s rat, is a nocturnal herbivore endemic in Australia. It once occupied almost all areas of mainland Australia, but is now found only in tall grasslands in northern Australia.

This mite species belongs to the family of Atopomelidae. Mites of the family Atopomelidae (Astigmata) are permanent parasites of small mammals. The Atopomelidae include 46 genera and about 360 species. The genus Listrophoroides (Hirst) is the largest genus of the family, including 16 subgenera and more than 150 species (Fain 1981).

 

The inscriptions on the slide shows :

  • Name of species : Listrophoroides (Marquesania) papuanus
  • Name of host : Rattus tunneyi
  • Locality : Port Warrender, Kimberly Exp.
  • Date of collection : 30-X-1976
  • Reference of slide : 50G11
  • Collection : Institut Tropical Médical d’Anvers
  • Sex : female
  • Determinator : A. Fain

If you are intereted in such species, please refer to this publication :

We can read the following concerning Marquesania subgenus :

The species of this subgenus are permanent parasites living in the fur of rats (Rodentia:Murinae) in the Oriental region, Australia and New Guinea. The atopomelids are more commensals than true parasites, because they feed on the secretions of hair glands and, probably, do not damage their hosts. After the present revision, this subgenus includes 13 species.

If you have occasion to collect such mite, we would be happy to receive some samples. We can also bring you some expertise in determination of such parasite.

Our thanks go to MNHN Paris for granting a free access to the collection. Congratulations to A. Fain and Bochkov for their great job on this genus and family !

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Nov 132015
 

Hello friendship of mites !

To continue the series of feather mites, here is the nearly famous feather mite of the common pigeon, for those who care about pigeons or doves at least… Its sweety little name is Falculifer rostratus (Buchholz, 1869) , from the family of Falculiferidae.

 

It feeds on keratin and prefers the flight feathers of wings (better taste or more minerals ?). It makes holes in the plumage and thus can hamper the flight. A favoured place for various species of such feather mites is the junction of barbs with the feather shaft.

According to federmiben.de, this species can be found on the following bird species :

Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Stock Dove (Columba oenas)
African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea)
Housepigeon (Columba livia)
Trocaz Pigeon (Columba trocaz)
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

On this same site you will find interesting information about the lifecycle of a feather mite.

Wandering around on the internet, I found the following specialised publications on this species :

  • Fine Structure of the Feather Mite Falculifer rostratus (Buchholz 1869) (Acari, Falculiferidae). 150 pages & 88 figures on this species, it is much probably a very interesting publication but unfortunatly far too expensive for me.
  • Population density and male polymorphism in the feather mite Falculifer rostratus (Acari: Falculiferidae), H. C. Proctor , G. Williams, D. H. Clayton

I went through this second publication and discovered an interesting phenomenon in the world of mites : the male polymorphism ! It occurs in Mesostigmata (Macrochelidae for example), in Prostigmata but also in Astigmata. The purpose of the study was to determine if the population density has an impact on the ratio of homeomorphic and heteromorphic males, as this can be observed for Sancassania berlesei. Well, the conclusion is not that straightforward because the notion of population density should be observed maybe preferably at the feather level, and not at the whole pigeon level…

In the case of Falculifer rostratus, the heteromorphic male should have leg I, II and the movable digit of chelicera greatly elongated. Is it the case for the shown mite ? I will tell you something… I do not know, I am even not 100% sure I am showing you a male (O my Goodness !), but maybe You know ?

Anyway if you are looking for information to get rid of these parasites for your belowed pigeons, I recommand you to check other sites… this one is dedicated to taxonomy, scientific studies and iconography of parasites (oriented on determination).

Thanks for your interest !

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Nov 012015
 
Trouessartia bifurcata - parasite of aquatic warbler

Here is another feather mite which was firstly named by Edouard Louis Trouessart in 1885. This is the first image of this species on Google image at the time being. Trouessartia bifurcata (Trouessart, 1885) is a member of the Trouessartiidae family created by the same person (you would have never guessed…). This is today still […]

Oct 102015
 
Neochauliacia simplex - parasite of Streptoprocne sonaris sonaris (bird)

I am back again with another mount from the collection of NMNH in Paris. The shown slide has the following references : Name of species : Neochauliacia simplex Peterson, Atyeo and Moss, 1978 Name of host : Streptoprocne sonaris sonaris Locality : unknown Date of collection : 1937 Reference of slide : 38F11 Collection : […]

May 192015
 
Chaetodactylus osmiae - parasite of Mason bee

Hello friends, This is a pest of different species of Mason bee (Osmia) in Europe. I am sure there are other species of Chaetodactylidae in Europe, but for the time being I found only this one. I made a photo in light microscopy of the whole acari, a detail of the dorsal cuticule, and a […]