A New Species of Nasal Mite of the Genus Sternostoma (Rhinonyssidae) from Serinus canaria (Passeriformes) from Saint Petersburg, Russia




1Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Universitetskaya embankment 1, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia

*Corresponding Author: Ivan DIMOV Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Universitetskaya embankment 1, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia e-mail: doktordimov@mail.ru


Geliş Tarihi / Received: 28.05.2012  



A new species of nasal mite Sternostoma marchae n. sp. is described from the domestic race of Island Canary Serinus canaria (Linnaeus, 1758) (Passeriformes, Fringillidae) from Saint Petersburg, Russia. The full description is presented.

Key Words: Rhinonyssidae, Sternostoma, nasal mites, Passeriformes






Saint Petersburg, Rusya’da yerli bir kanarya ırkından (Linnaeus, 1758) (Passeriformes, Fringillidae), yeni bir nazal mayt türü Sternostoma marchae n. sp. tanımlanmaktadır. Tam bir tanımlama aşağıda verilmiştir. 

Anahtar Kelimeler: Rhinonyssidae, Sternostoma, nazal mayt, Passeriformes



Mites of the family Rhinonyssidae are slowmoving mites, permanent parasites of birds, living in their respiratory tract (Fain, 1994; George, 1961; Knee and Proctor, 2010). Most species live in nasal turbinates, a cavity of vascularized epithelial tissue. However, some species occupy the lungs, tracheal tissues and body cavity of their host (Krantz and Walter, 2009; Porter and Strandtmann, 1952). Rhinonyssid mites disperse by the oral route when infested adult birds regurgitate food to their nestlings or during courtship behavior. Indirect transmission has been detected through water, perches, or other contaminated surfaces (Bell, 1996). It is thought that they are descendents of ectoparasitic predecessors which were probably related to the Macronyssidae (Strandtmann, 1948). Most likely that they originated as parasites of bats and later turned into parasites of reptiles, birds, and other mammals (Radovsky, 1985). The level of host

226      Ivan Dimov



specificity is variable across rhinonyssid genera, in that some genera are restricted to one host family, while others occur on hosts from several avian orders (Butenko, 1984; Fain, 1957; Pence, 1975).

The genus Sternostoma -Berlese and Trouessart, 1889- is one of the most speciesrich genera of rhinonyssids, with at least 60 described species (Butenko, 1984; Fain, 1957; Knee, 2008). Sternostoma species have been collected from birds belonging to 18 orders from all over the world (Domrow, 1969).

In the present work a new species of the genus Sternostoma is described from a passerine host from Saint Petersburg, Russia.


Materials and Methods

Mite specimens were collected from deceased Island Canaries provided by amateur ornithologists from Saint Petersburg. Bird heads were placed into a dish with 80% ethanol, dissected and examined under a dissecting stereomicroscope. Detected mite specimens were removed with needles and preserved in 70% ethanol. Further, mites were mounted in Hoyer’s medium following the technique of Bregetova (1956).

Descriptions of new species are given in a standard format for Rhinonyssid mites (Knee, 2008; Pence, 1975).The following designations for particular structures are adapted from Knee (2008): LB- length of body including palps;



Figure 1. Sternostoma marchae, female dorsum.

Şekil 1.  Sternostoma marchae, dişi üstten görünüm.



WID – width of idiosoma; LPS – length of podosomal shield; WPS – width of podosomal shield; LOS – length of opisthosomal shield; WOS – width of opisthosomal shield; LSS – length of sternal shield; WSS – width of sternal shield; LGS – length of genital shield; WGS – width of genital shield; LG – length of gnathosoma, ventral view, including palps; WG – width of gnathosoma; LCH – length of helicerae; WCH -  width of helicerae; Lleg I to Lleg IV -  length of leg, including coxa, excluding ambulacrum. All measuremenst are in micrometers.

Names of the setae on the body of the Rhinonyssid mites: j3, 5, 6, z2-4; J1, J2; Z2, Z3; st 1,2,3; Jv1-2; Zv1

Holotypes and paratypes are deposited in the collections of Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia.


Results and Discussion

Family Rhinonyssidae (Trouessart, 1895)

Genus         Sternostoma   Berlese            and

Trouessart, 1889

The             genus   Sternostoma    -Berlese           and

Trouessart, 1889- is species-rich genus, with at least 60 described species (Butenko, 1984; Fain, 1957; Knee, 2008). I recognize here one new species and I give its full description.

Sternostoma marchae sp. nov.


Figure 2. Sternostoma marchae, female ventrum.

Şekil 2.    Sternostoma marchae, dişi alttan görünüm.

A New Species of Nasal Mite of the Genus Sternostoma (Rhinonyssidae) from  227

Serinus canaria (Passeriformes) from Saint Petersburg, Russia




Female (holotype and 9 paratypes): LB- 330-351; WID –187-198; LPS –155-170; WPS – 132-147; LOS – 98-104; WOS – 33-40; LSS – 45-48; WSS – 47-49; LGS – 62-67; WGS – 45-50; LG – 64-72; WG – 63-67; LCH – 89-98; WCH - 23-28; Lleg I – 210-239; Lleg II – 137161; LlegIII – 162-190; Lleg IV – 181-210.

Dorsum: (Figure 1) Podosomal shield lightly sclerotized, anterior margin of the shield attenuate and rounded lateral margins strongly convex, posterior margin straight. Six pairs of short setae along margin of podosomal shield (j3, 5, 6, z2-4). Stigmata dorsolateral, situated at level podosomal shield posterior margin. Opisthosomal shield elongate and narrow, with a pair of small setae on the posterior margin (J1, J2). Four or 5 setae on opisthosomal shield. The fifth may be on the left or on the right posterior part of the shield. Two pairs of setae on lateral margin of opisthosomal shield (Z2, Z3).

Venter: (Figure 2) Sternal shield with transverse wave ornamentation, sternal shield heavily sclerotized throughout and weakly




Figure 3. Sternostoma marchae, dişi dorsum.

Şekil 3.  Sternostoma marchae, dişi üstten görünüm.


sclerotized along peripheral margins. Two pairs of setae (st2,3) situated lateral to the sternal shield, and one pair (st1) near the sternal shield anterior margin. Genital shield broad, poorly sclerotized, and without setae. Ventral opisthosoma with two pairs of relatively large setae (Jv1-2) and one pair of little sharply– tipped setae (Zv1). Anal shield situated terminaly on the posterior of the idiosoma. Gnathosoma inserted ventrally. Six deutosternal teeth present. No hypostomal and subcapitular setae present. 

Legs: All legs six-segmented. Chaetotaxy of legs: 2-2-1-0. Trochanter 3-3-4-4. Femur 9-5-52. Genu 8-4-4-2. Tibia 7-4-4-4. Tarsus 16-7-911 Tarsus III – IV apical ventral have also 1 long (10 μm) seta. Tarsus I-IV with long setae (9-11 μm). All tarsi with caruncle and claws.

Male, nymphs, larva: Unknown.

Type material: Female holotype with two female paratypes (ZISP 4714) and 7 female paratypes (ZISP 4715, 4716) from Serinus canaria (Linnaeus, 1758) (Fringillidae), Russia, Saint Petersburg, (59° 56' N, 30° 18' W), 02 July 2010; coll. I. Dimov.


Figure 4. Sternostoma marchae, dişi ventrum.

Şekil 4.    Sternostoma marchae, dişi alttan görünüm.





Ivan Dimov

Etymology: The species is named after my daughter, Maria I. Dimova.

Differential            diagnosis:       Sternostoma marchae n. sp. is similar to St. tracheacolum Lawrence, 1948- by form of the podosomal and opisthosomal   shields.            The      features discriminating between St. marchae and St. tracheacolum are reviewed in Table 1. The

clearest feature differentiating between these two species is the chaetotaxy of coxae and on the sternal shield. In St. marchae, coxa III bears one seta and coxa IV lacking any setae. In St tracheocolum, coxa III has two setae and coxa IV has one seta. In St. marchae setae on the sternal shield absent, but in St tracheocolum 3 pairs of setae on the sternal shield present.


Table 1.                Characters differentiating St. marchae n.sp. and St. tracheacolum.

Tablo 1. St. marchae n.sp. ve St. tracheacolum’un ayırıcı özellikleri.


St. marchae n.sp.

St. tracheacolum

Opisthosomal shield form and ratio length/width)

Narrow, 3:1

Wide, 2:1

Setae on opisthosomal shield

4 (rarely 5)


Sternal shield form



Setae on sternal shield


3 pairs

Setae near sternal shield

3 pairs

No setae

Setae on ventral opisthosoma

2 pairs of big, 1 pair of small setae

2 pairs big setae

Hypostomal and subcapitular setae



Deutosternal dents



Coxal setae formula





I am especially grateful to my colleagues and amateur ornithologists Olga Sizmina and Mihail Galizkii for providing me with material for the present research. I owe a great debt to Dr. Sergey Mironov (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg) for his helpful revision of the manuscript. 



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Serinus canaria (Passeriformes) from Saint Petersburg, Russia



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