Fainalges gracilitarsus   (Mironov, Dabert & Ehrnsberger)


 
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Carolina Paraceet Feather Mite
(Fainalges gracilitarsus)

 
syn. -

 
distribution:

USA: Florida; Georgia; Illinois (?); Kentucky (?); Louisiana; Missouri (?); North Carolina; Ohio (?); South Carolina; Virginia; West Virginia

 
local name: -

 
size: (?)

extinction date: ca. 1918

 
The parasitic feather mites of the genus Fainalges are adapted to spend their whole life in the plumage of their host species, in this case several Central and South American parrot species.

So, for example, the Central American Green Conure (Aratinga holochlora (Sclater)) hosts at least seven species of this genus, Fainalges bilobatus (Pérez), Fainalges latistriatus (Pérez), Fainalges longissimus (Mejía-González & Pérez), Fainalges spiculatus (Pérez), Fainalges stettenheimi (Pérez), Fainalges tanythrix (Pérez) as well as Fainalges vulgaris (Pérez).

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This feather mite species was discovered, together with five additional species, during the study of museum specimens of the Carolina Paraceet (Conuropsis carolinensis (L.)), and was scientifically described in the year 2005.

The Carolina Paraceet was extirpated at about 1918, followed by these highly specialised  parasites.

 
References:

- Tila M. Pérez: Seven species of Fainalges Gaud and Berla (Analgoidea, Xolalgidae) from Aratinga holochlora (Sclater) (Aves, Psittacidae). Zoologica Scripta 24(3): 203-223. 1995
- S. V. Mironov; J. Dabert; R. Ehrnsberger: Six new feather mite species (Acari: Astigmata) from the carolina parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae), an extinct parrot of North America. Journal of Natural History, Volume 39(24): 2257-2278. 2005