ISSN 1911-2173

Fig 76 (a).Rhinoecius nycteae female dorsal habitus.

Fig 76 (b). Rhinoecius nycteae female dorsum.

Fig 76 (c). Rhinoecius nycteae female venter.

North American host records:
Nyctea scandiaca, Snowy Owl (Knee et al. 2008) (has been recorded from N. scandiaca 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 extends anteriorly beyond st1
– vestigial tritosternum present
– 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.