Descriptions of two new species of Quasithelazia Maplestone, 1932 (Spirurida: Acuariidae) and a redescription of Alinema sturni Jögis, 1968 from birds in Australia


Quasithelazia minuta n. sp. and Quasithelazia pearsoni n. sp. (Spirurida: Acuariidae) are described from Todiramphus sanctus (Vigors & Horsfield) (Coraciiformes: Alcedinidae) in Australia. Alinema sturni Jögis, 1968 from Sturnus vulgaris (L.) (Passeriformes: Sturnidae) in Europe, is considered to belong in the subfamily Schistorophinae Travassos, 1918 (and not in the Seuratiinae Chitwood & Wehr, 1932, where it has previously been placed) on the basis of the number of the pairs of precloacal papillae. The latter species, known from its original record only, is found as parasitic in diverse passerine birds in Australia, namely Psophodes olivaceus (Latham) (Psophodidae), Falcunculus frontatus (Latham) (Pachycephalidae), Colluricincla harmonica (Latham) (Pachycephalidae), Malurus cyaneus (Ellis) (Maluridae) and Ptilotula penicillata (Gould) (Meliphagidae). Alinema sturni is considered an alien species for Australia that has been introduced with its host (starling) and subsequently adapted to a wide range of native avian hosts.

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I am grateful to Prof. J. Mariaux, Natural History Museum of Geneva, for drawing my attention to these materials and Dr L. Chisholm, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, Australia, for lending samples. I am obliged to Prof. B. B. Georgiev, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, for his valuable comments on this study. The facilities provided by the EC-funded project WETLANET (FP7, Capacities, Grant 229802) and the project CEBDER (Grant DO-02-15) funded by the National Science Fund of the Republic of Bulgaria were used.

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Correspondence to Yasen Mutafchiev.

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This study is based on museum material and does not require ethical approval.

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Mutafchiev, Y. Descriptions of two new species of Quasithelazia Maplestone, 1932 (Spirurida: Acuariidae) and a redescription of Alinema sturni Jögis, 1968 from birds in Australia. Syst Parasitol 93, 539–550 (2016).

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  • Buccal Cavity
  • Excretory Pore
  • Anterior Extremity
  • Curonian Spit
  • South Australian Museum