ISSN 1911-2173

Fig 75 (a). Rhinoecius alifanovi female dorsal habitus.

Fig 75 (b). Rhinoecius alifanovi female dorsum.

Fig 75 (c).Rhinoecius alifanovi female venter.

North American host records:
Asio flammeus, Short-eared Owl (Knee et al. 2008) (has been recorded from A. flammeus in Russia by Butenko (1976))

Diagnostic characteristics:
– subposterior pair of dorsal podosomal setae on posterior margin of podosomal shield, and much < 70 µm long
– posterior margin of sternal shield straight, st1 and st2 on shield, and shielding does not extend far beyond st1
– paranal setae anterior to anal opening, and postanal seta present

– R. alifanovi, R. brikinboricus, R. grandis, and R. nycteae comprise the Rhinoecius grandis” species complex. These four species are difficult to separate. In particular, the sternal shield morphology used to separate species is not always consistent across individuals for a particular species. I find host species to be the best character to delineate among these species.

Butenko, O.M. 1976. New species of rhinonyssid mites (Gamasoidea, Rhinonyssidae), parasitic in owls.
        Parazitologiya (St. Petersburg), 10: 303-309.
Knee, W., Proctor, H., and Galloway, T. 2008. Survey of nasal mites (Rhinonyssidae, Ereynetidae, and Turbinoptidae)
        associated with birds in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada. Canadian Entomologist, 140: 364-379.