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Hyperparasitism of an Avian Ectoparasitic Hippoboscid Fly, Ornithomya anchineuria, by the Mite, Myialges Cf. Borealis, in Alberta, Canada

Goater, C.P., Dyck, J., Proctor, H., Floate, K.D. (2018). Hyperparasitism of an Avian Ectoparasitic Hippoboscid Fly, Ornithomya anchineuria, by the Mite, Myialges Cf. Borealis, in Alberta, Canada, 104(2), 111-116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/17-171

Abstract

© American Society of Parasitologists 2018. Hippoboscid flies (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) include species that are ectoparasites of birds in the Northern Hemisphere, but little is known regarding their taxonomy, parasites, avian host associations, or geographical distribution in North America. In late August of 2013 and 2014, we collected hippoboscid flies from live birds trapped in mist nets as part of a banding study in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park in southeastern Alberta, Canada. A total of 113 birds comprising 9 species was examined in 2013. Of these, 18 individuals were infested with 1-3 Ornithomya anchineuria Speiser (n = 22 flies; prevalence = 15.9%). Eight of these flies carried 1-8 adult female epidermoptid mites anchored to their ventral, posterior abdomens. Each female was associated with clusters of up to 30 stalked eggs. The first pair of tarsi on adult female mites was highly modified as anchors, indicating permanent attachment through the host cuticle. Morphological traits identified these mites as Myialges cf. borealis Mironov, Skirnisson, Thorarinsdottier and Nielsen. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1) gene sequences obtained for 2 mites were distinct from those previously reported for species of Myialges, being most similar to Myialges trinotoni Cooreman. The paucity of available gene sequences for Myialges and related genera of epidermoptid mites prevents any further conclusions regarding taxonomy. These findings extend previous reports of O. anchineuria from Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Canada inland to the central migratory flyway of the Northern Great Plains and expand the limited information available for Myialges spp.

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