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Rhinonyssidae (Acari: Gamasida) in Ardeidae (Aves: Pelicaniformes) in Brazil.

The order of Pelecaniformes is composed of families Ardeidae (Leach, 1820), Thereskiomithidae (Poche, 1904), and Pelecanidae (Rafinesque, 1891) (CRBRO, 2011). The family Ardeidae gathers more than 60 species of herons, egrets and bitterns being one of the largest and more representative with characteristics adapted to wetlands (Sick, 1997). In the State of Rio Grande do Sul, 13 species are recorded Botauras pinnatus (Wagler, 1829), Ixobrychus involucris (Vieillot, 1823), Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus, 1758), Butorides striata (Linnaeus, 1758), Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758), Ardea cocoi Linnaeus, 1766, Egretta thula (Molina, 1782), Syrigma sibilatrix (Temminck, 1824), Ixobrychus exilis (Gmelin, 1789), Tigrisoma lineatum (Boddaert, 1783), Nyctanassa violacea (Linnaeus, 1758), Egretta caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758), and Ardea alba Linnaeus, 1758 (Bencke et al., 2010).

Nasal mites are endoparasites that inhabit the respiratory system of birds. They can be found mainly in the membrane lining nasal turbinates. They can also be found in the anterior portion of the nostrils, larynx, trachea, lungs, conjunctival and air sacs (Amaral and Rebotigas, 1974a). The Ardeidae are commonly parasitized by species of nasal mites that make up the genus Tinaminyssus Strandtmann and Wharton, 1958 (Rhinonyssidae) (Bregetova, 1950 apud Pence, 1975; Zumpt and Till, 1955 apud Pence, 1972; Fain, 1956 apud Pence, 1972; Pence, 1972; Amaral and Rebougas, 1974b). In this context, the study aimed to report the occurrence of nasal mites from birds of the family Ardeidae in Brazil, contributing to the knowledge of biodiversity of the nasal mites in this country.

The species of birds examined were Tigrisoma lineatum, Nycticorax nycticorax, Ixobrychus involucris, Butorides striata, Bubulcus ibis, Ardea alba, Ardea cocoi, Syrigma sibilatrix, and Egretta thula, a total of 30 birds from the municipalities of Pelotas, Rio Grande and Capao do Leao, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The animals were donated, after death, by Nucleo de Reabilitagao da Fauna Silvestre and Centro de Triagem de Animais Silvestres of Universidade Federal de Pelotas (NURFS-CETAS/UFPel). For collecting the mites, a cut was made from one of the nostrils until reaching the external orifice of the correspondent ear, repeating the process on the opposite side. Next, the nasal turbinates were cut lengthwise and the top of the head was bent backwards until it forms a right angle with the lower part (Fain,1957 apud Amaral and Rebougas, 1974a). After the cavity was washed with water jet through a 150 pm sieve, and the resulting content, as well as the nasal cavity, were examined under a stereomicroscope.

The mites were fixed in ethanol 70[degrees] GL and clarified in lactophenol, and mounted on a slide with a coverslip in Fioyer's. The identification was based on morphological characteristics according to Pence (1972) and Pence (1975). The parameters evaluated were prevalence and mean intensity according to Bush et al. (1997). The specimens were deposited in the Arthropoda Collection of the Laboratory of Parasitology for Wild Animals of Biology Institute, Federal University of Pelotas (n[degrees] 444-467).

The prevalence was 23% of the total number of birds examined. The species positive for mites were Nycticorax nycticorax, Butorides striata, Bubulcus ibis, Syrigma sibilatrix, and Egretta thula. The mites were identified as belonging to Tinaminyssus (Gamasida: Rhinonyssidae), and two species, Tinaminyssus sp. and Tinaminyssus belopolskii Bregetova, 1950, were found (Table 1).

Tinaminyssus belopolskii was described in Russia in Ardea cinerea (Linnaeus, 1758) (Bregetova, 1950 apud Pence, 1975), other Ardeidae reported for this nasal mite were Egretta caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758), Butorides virescens (Linnaeus, 1758), Egretta thula (Molina, 1782), and Egretta tricolor (Statius Muller, PL, 1776), in the State of Louisiana, United States of America (Pence, 1972). Tinaminyssus bubulci Zumpt and Till, 1955 was reported in Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758) in Central Africa (Zumpt and Till, 1955 apud Pence, 1972) and in North America (Pence, 1972). Tinaminyssus ixobrychi Fain, 1956 was reported in Africa in Ixobrychus minutus (Linnaeus, 1766) (Fain, 1956 apud Pence, 1972). Tinaminyssus neoixobrychi Pence, 1972 was reported in Ixobrychus exilis (Gmelin, JF, 1789), in North America (Pence, 1972). In Brazil, Tinaminyssus belopolskii was reported for the first time by Amaral and Rebougas (1974b), in the State of Sao Paulo, parasitizing heron species of the genus Ardea, but their species were not identified by the authors of the paper.

The Ardeidae Butorides striata, Bubulcus ibis, Syrigma sibilatrix and Egretta thula are recorded as new hosts for Tinaminyssus belopolskii, in Brazil, and Nycticorax nycticorax is a new host for Tinaminyssus sp.. This report extends the geographic distribution of T. belopolskii to the State of Rio Grande do Sul, it is therefore the southernmost record of this species.

Acknowledgments--We thank to CAPES, Coordenadoria de Aperfeipoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES, Brazil) for financial support and the the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Center and Screening of Wild Animals, Federal University of Pelotas (NURFSCETAS, UFPel) for kindly donating the material to the Laboratory of Parasitology of Wild Animals, so that the work could be done.


AMARAL, V. and REBOUCAS, MM., 1974a. Metodos para o estudo de acaros Rinonissideos. Sao Paulo: Instituto Biologico de Sao Paulo. 31 p.

AMARAL, V. and REBOUCAS, MM., 1974b. Notas sobre acaros rinonissideos de aves brasileiras (Mesostigmata: Rhinonyssidae). O Biologico, vol. 40, p. 52-56.

BENCKE, GA., DIAS, RA., BUGONI, L., AGNES, CE., FONTANA, CS., MAURICIO, GN. and MACHADO, DB., 2010, Revisao e atualiza<;ao da lista das aves do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Iheringia, vol. 100, no. 4, p. 519556.

BREGETOVA, NG., 1950, New species of endoparasitic acarina of the family Rhinonyssidae (Gamasoidea, Acarina). Akad. Nauk SSSR Dok. vol. 71, p. 1005-1008.

BUSH, A., LAFFERTY, K., LOTZ, J. and SHOSTAK, A., 1997. Parasitology meets ecology on its own tenns: Margolis et al. revisited. The Journal of Parasitology, v. 83, p. 575-583.

CRBRO--Comite Brasileiro de Registros Ornitologicos, 2011. Listas das aves do Brasil. 10th ed. 37 p.

FAIN, A., 1956. Les acariens de la famille Rhinonyssidae Vitzthum 1935 parasites des fosses nasals des oiseaux au Ruanda-Urundi (Note preliminaire). Revue de zoologie et de botanique africaines, vol. 53, p. 131-157.

PENCE, DB., 1972. The nasal mites of birds from Louisiana. I. Dermanyssids (Rhynonyssidae) from shore and marsh birds. The Journal of Parasitology, vol. 58, no. 1, p. 153-168.

PENCE, DB., 1975. Keys, Species and Host List, and Bibliography for Nasal Mites of North American Birds (Acarina: Rhinonyssidae, Turbinoptinae, Speleognathinae and Cytoditidae). Special Publications the Texas Tech Press, vol. 8, p. 148 p.

SICK. H., 1997. Ornitologia Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova Fronteira. 862 p.

ZUMPT, F., TILL, WM., 1955. Nasal mite of birds hitherto unknown from the Ethiopian region with keys and descriptions of nine new species (Acarina: Laelaptidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of South Africa, vol. 18, p. 60-92.

Bernardon, FF. * Muller, G. and Mascarenhas, CS.

Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas,Campus Universitario s/n", CEP 96010-900, Caixa Postal 354, Capao do Ledo, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

* e-mail:

Received July 24, 2012--Accepted September 17, 2012--Distributed August 31, 2013
Table 1--Rhinonyssidae in Ardeidae in Brazil, their incidence,
mean intensity, and sex ratio, respectively.

Host examined           Nasal mite                 Incidence

Tigrisoma lineatum      -                             0/1
Ixobrychus involucris   -                             0/4
Nycticorax nycticorax   Tinaminyssus sp.              1/1
Butorides striata       Tinaminyssus belopolskii      1/4
Bubulcus ibis           Tinaminyssus belopolskii      1/4
Ardea alba              -                             0/4
Ardea cocoi             -                             0/4
Syrigma sibilatrix      Tinaminyssus belopolskii      2/4
Egretta thula           Tinaminyssus belopolskii      2/4

Host examined           Mean intensity   Female/Male

Tigrisoma lineatum            -               -
Ixobrychus involucris         -               -
Nycticorax nycticorax         5              4/1
Butorides striata             2              2/0
Bubulcus ibis                 1              1/0
Ardea alba                    -               -
Ardea cocoi                   -               -
Syrigma sibilatrix            1              2/0
Egretta thula                12.5           2.5/1
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Author:Bernardon, F.F.; Muller, G.; Mascarenhas, CS.
Publication:Brazilian Journal of Biology
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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