Keys to the Families and Genera of Blood and Tissue Feeding Mites Associated with Albertan Birds
CJAI 02 June 28, 2006
doi: 10.3752/cjai.2006.02

Wayne Knee*, and Heather Proctor

University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, CW 405 Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton AB Canada, T6G 2E9. *, **

            There are at least 3,000 species of mites (Arachnida: Acari) living in close association with birds (Aves). The influence of mites on host survival and reproduction ranges from severely detrimental to mildly beneficial. Four orders of mites include species that are blood or tissue feeders on birds. While surveying mites from birds in Alberta, we became aware of the need for an inclusive illustrated key to identify the families and genera of blood and tissue feeding mites. We collected mites by washing birds and examining the filtrate. In total, 328 individual birds representing 123 species were examined. We used a camera-mounted compound microscope, Adobe Photoshop, and a drawing tablet to acquire and edit images. The resulting key covers 13 families and 14 genera of parasitic mites. It was created with non-acarologists in mind and can be easily used by anyone interested in identifying bird-associated mites.

Ptilonyssus bombycillae (Rhinonyssidae)
ex. Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus).

| Introduction | Materials and Methods | Results and Discussion | References | PDF 22.1 MB | Cite this Article |

Key to the Families of Blood and Tissue Feeding Mites Known from Birds in Alberta (primarily based on females)

Key to the Genera of Blood and Tissue Feeding Mites of Ereynetidae, Cheyletiellidae, and Rhinonyssidae, Known from Albertan Birds.