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Tuatara: Volume 19, Issue 2, May 1972

Bird Nasal Mites in New Zealand

Bird Nasal Mites in New Zealand

Although mites are common parasites of the nasal passages of birds, only one species is known from New Zealand: Ptilonyssus euroturdi, see Ramsay (1970). I am therefore grateful to Mr. A. Heath (Department of Parasitology, University of Queensland, formerly Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, abbreviated W.A.R.C. below) for material from nine hosts — all introductions or species of broad distribution — from this area. This note is to identify these specimens, and to indicate the desirability of collections from purely indigenous birds. The two new host-records are indicated by *, and the material has been returned to W.A.R.C. Fuller documentation is available in Domrow (1969).

Family Dermanyssidae (Mesostigmata)

Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini and Fanzago): 2 females from a blackbird, Turdus merula, Featherston, 3.i.1971, J. D. Tenquist. This species is normally an ectoparasite (Domrow, 1969: 404).

Tinaminyssus melloi (de Castro): 2 males, 1 deutonymph (enclosing a developing female), and 3 protonymphs from a pigeon, Columba livia, Christchurch, 5.x.1970.

Tinaminyssus halcyonus (Domrow): 3 females and 2 protonymphs from kingfishers, Halcyon sancta, Rotorua, 5.v.1970, C. Brown, and W.A.R.C., Wellington, v.1970, R. Solly.

Rallinyssus gallinulae Fain: many specimens from pukekos, Porphyrio melanotus, Lake Rotokare, New Plymouth, 10.iv.1969, Wildlife Division, and Otaki, 10.viii.1969, Police Department.

Rhinonyssus rhinolethrum (Trouessart): 1 protonymph from a duck, Anas superciliosa, Wairarapa, 26.v.1970, J.D.T.

Ptilonyssus emberizae Fain: 1 female and 1 male from yellow hammers, Emberiza citrinella, W.A.R.C., v and 10.vi.1970, R. S. and A. Heath.

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Ptilonyssus cractici Domrow: many specimens from magpies, Gymnorhina hypoleuca,* 15.iii, 11.v, and ?iv.1970, A.H. and R.S.

Ptilonyssus euroturdi Fain and Hyland: 1 female from T. merula,* W.A.R.C., v.1970, and 1 female from a song thrush, T. philomelus, W.A.R.C., 11.v.1970, R.S.

Family Epidermoptidae (Astigmata)

Turbinoptes strandtmanni Boyd: many specimens from a gull, Larus dominicanus, W.A.R.C., 13.viii.1971, G. Kelly.


Domrow, R., 1969: The Nasal Mites of Queensland Birds. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 93: 297-426.

Ramsay, G. W., 1970: The First Record of an Avian Nasal Mite from New Zealand. N.Z. Ent. 4: 93-94.