Folia Parasitologica, vol. 64 (2017)

Folia Parasitologica 64:024 (2017) | 10.14411/fp.2017.024

Castosyringophilus meropis sp. n. (Acariformes: Syringophilidae) - a new quill mite species parasitising the world population of Merops apiaster Linnaeus (Coraciiformes: Meropidae)

Maciej Skoracki1, Martin Hromada2,3,4, Bozena Sikora1
1 Department of Animal Morphology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland;
2 Laboratory and Museum of Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, University of Pre¹ov, Pre¹ov, Slovakia;
3 Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland;
4 Department of Zoology, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

A new species, Castosyringophilus meropis sp. n., found in quills of feathers of the European bee-eater Merops apiaster Linnaeus (Coraciiformes: Meropidae) is described. This new species is close to C. claravis Skoracki et Glowska, 2008 and differs, in females, by the presence apunctate coxal fields (vs sparsely punctate in C. claravis) and by the lengths of setae d1 145-180 µm, f2 170-185 µm and ag3 190-215 µm (vs d1 200-220 µm, f2 230-250 µm and ag3 150-170 µm). We present a vast mite material collected from bee-eaters originated from different localities in Europe, Asia and Africa, both breeding and wintering grounds of this bird. It indicates that the whole world population of the European bee-eater is parasitised by this quill mite species.

Keywords: acari, birds, ectoparasites, faunistics, parasitology, systematics

Received: February 8, 2017; Accepted: June 21, 2017; Published online: July 26, 2017


  1. Bochkov A.V., Perez T.M. 2002: New quill mites of the family Syringophilidae (Acari: Cheyletoidea) parasitizing Mexican parrots. Belg. J. Entomol. 4: 145-159.
  2. Casto S.D. 1980: A new quill mite (Acarina: Syringophilidae) from the ground dove. Southwest. Entomol. 5: 1-5.
  3. Cramp S. (Ed.) 1985: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 4. Terns to Woodpeckers. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 970 pp.
  4. Fry H., Boesman P. 2016: European Bee-Eater (Merops apiaster). In: J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D.A Christie, E. de Juana (Eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  5. Grandjean F. 1939: Les segments postlarvaires de l'hysterosoma chez les oribates (Acariens). Bull. Soc. Zool. France 64: 273-284.
  6. Grandjean F. 1944: Observations sur les acariens de la famille des Stigmaeidae. Arch. Sci. Phys. Nat. 26: 103-131.
  7. Jarvis E.D., Mirarab S., Aberer A.J., Li B., Houde P., Li C., Ho S.Y.W., Faircloth B.C., Nabholz B., Howard J.T., Suh A., Weber C.C., Fonseca R.R., Li J., Zhang F., Li H., Zhou L., Narula N., Liu L., Ganapathy G., Boussau B., Bayzid M.S., Zavidovych V., Subramanian S., Gabaldón T., Capella-Gutiérrez S., Huerta-Cepas J., Rekepalli B., Munch K., Schierup M., Lindow B., Warren W.C., Ray D., Green R.E., Bruford M.W., Zhan X., Dixon A., Li S., Li N., Huang Y., Derryberry E.P., Bertelsen M.F., Sheldon F.H., Brumfield R.T., Mello C.V., Lovell P.V., Wirthlin M., Schneider M.P.C., Prosdocimi F., Samaniego J.A., Velazquez A.M.V., Alfaro-Núñez A., Campos P.F., Petersen B., Sicheritz-Ponten T., Pas A., Bailey T., Scofield P., Bunce M., Lambert D. M., Zhou Q., Perelman P., Driskell A.C., Shapiro B., Xiong Z., Zeng Y., Liu S., Li Z., Liu B., Wu K., Xiao J., Yinqi X., Zheng Q., Zhang Y., Yang H., Wang J., Smeds L., Rheindt F.E., Braun M., Fjeldsa J., Orlando L., Barker F.K., Jønsson K.A., Johnson W., Koepfli K.P., O'Brien S., Haussler D., Ryder O.A., Rahbek C., Willerslev E., Graves G.R., Glenn T. C., McCormack J., Burt D., Ellegren H., Alström P., Edwards S.V., Stamatakis A., Mindell D.P., Cracraft J., Braun E.L., Warnow T., Jun W., Gilbert M.T.P., Zhang G. 2014: Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds. Science 346: 1320-1331. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  8. Kethley J.B. 1970: A revision of the family Syringophilidae (Prostigmata: Acarina). Contrib. Am. Entomol. Inst. 5: 1-76.
  9. Kethley J.B. 1990: Acarina: Prostigmata (Actinedida). In: D.L. Dindal (Ed.), Soil Biology Guide. Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 667-754.
  10. Prum R.O., Berv J.S., Dornburg A., Field D.J., Townsend J.P., Lemmon E.M., Lemmon A.R. 2015: A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next-generation DNA sequencing. Nature 526: 569-573. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  11. Rózsa L., Reiczigel J., Majoros G. 2000: Quantifying parasites in samples of hosts. J. Parasitol. 86: 228-232. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  12. Skoracki M. 2011: Quill mites (Acari: Syringophilidae) of the Palaearctic region. Zootaxa 2840: 1-414.
  13. Skoracki M., Dabert J. 2000: Syringophilopsis albicollisi sp. n., a new species of the quill mite of the family Syringophilidae (Acari: Prostigmata). Acarina 8: 59-63.
  14. Skoracki M., Dabert J. 2001: The quill mites of the genus Syringophilopsis Kethley, 1970 (Acari: Syringophilidae) from African birds. Acarina 9: 105-112.
  15. Skoracki M., Glowska E. 2008: Quill mites (Acari: Syringophilidae) associated with columbiform birds. Genus 19: 151-160.
  16. Skoracki M., Michalik J., Sikora B. 2010: Prevalence and habitat preference of quill mites (Acari, Syringophilidae) parasitizing forest passerine birds in Poland. Acta Parasitol. 55: 188-193. Go to original source...
  17. Skoracki M., Zabludovskaya S.A., Bochkov A.V. 2012: A review of Prostigmata (Acariformes: Trombidiformes) permanently associated with birds. Acarina 20: 67-107.
  18. Snow D.W. (Ed.) 1978: An Atlas of Speciation in African Non-Passerine Birds. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, 390 pp.
  19. Yuri T., Kimball R.T., Harshman J., Bowie R.C.K., Braun M.J., Chojnowski J.L., Han K.L., Hackett S.J., Huddleston C.J., Moore W.S., Reddy S., Sheldon F.H., Witt C.C., Braun E.L. 2013: Parsimony and model-based analyses of indels in avian nuclear genes reveal congruent and incongruent phylogenetic signals. Biology (Basel) 2: 419-444. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  20. Zmudzinski M., Skoracki M. 2017: An updated check-list of the family Syringophilidae (Acariformes: Prostigmata)., 03/2017.