Folia Parasitologica 61 272-276 (2014) | 10.14411/fp.2014.030
Here we present the first evidence of female dimorphism in ectoparasitic quill mites of the family Syringophilidae (Actinotrichida: Prostigmata: Cheyletoidea). Stibarokris phoeniconaias Skoracki et OConnor, 2010 and Ciconichenophilus phoeniconaias Skoracki et OConnor, 2010 so far have been treated as two distinct species cohabiting inside the quills of feathers of the lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire) and the American flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber Linnaeus. Although females of these species differ morphologically by the extent of body sclerotisation, presence/absence of lateral hypostomal teeth, and shape of dorsal setae, their important common features are the lack of leg setae vs II, and both stylophore and peritremes shape. Here, we apply the DNA barcode markers to test whether the differences between S. phoeniconaias and C. phoeniconaias have a genetic basis, indicating that they really are distinct taxa, or whether they just represent two morphs of a single species. All analysed sequences (616 bp for COI and 1 159 bp for 28S rDNA) obtained for specimens representing females of both studied taxa as well as male, tritonymph, protonymph and larva of S. phoeniconaias were identical, which indicates that S. phoeniconaias and C. phoeniconaias are conspecific. The formal taxonomic consequence of our results is denial of the genus status of Ciconichenophilus Skoracki et OConnor, 2010 and species status of C. phoeniconaias, and recommendation that they should be treated as junior synonyms of Stibarokris Kethley, 1970 and S. phoeniconaias, respectively.
Received: December 16, 2013; Accepted: January 25, 2014; Prepublished online: March 12, 2014; Published: June 19, 2014