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 :
- Bochkov, A.V.; Fain, A. 2003: Revision of the subgenus Marquesania (Acari: Atopomelidae: Listrophoroides). Invertebrate systematics
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 !