Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 46–80 | Cite as

Systematic revision of the feather mite genera Apexolichus Gaud et Atyeo and Titanolichus Gaud et Atyeo (Astigmata, Pterolichidae), parasites of parrots of the Old World (Psittaciformes, Psittacidae)

  • Jacek Dabert
  • Serge V. Mironov
  • Rainer Ehrnsberger
Original Paper


We present a systematic revision and phylogenetic analysis of feather mites of the closely related genera Apexolichus Gaud et Atyeo, 1996 and Titanolichus Gaud et Atyeo, 1996 (Pterolichidae, Pterolichinae). New diagnoses for Apexolichus and Titanolichus and keys to all known species are provided. We redescribe all species of the genus Protolichus Mégnin et Trouessart, 1884, described by E. Trouessart over a century ago, and which have been transferred to these genera. Two new species are described: Apexolichus psephoti sp. nov. from Psephotus varius Clark A.H., 1910 (type host) and P. haematonotus (Gould, 1838); and Titanolichus triangulifer sp. nov. from Barnardius zonaris (Shaw, 1805) (type host) and Northiella haematogaster (Gould, 1838). New synonymies are proposed: Apexolichus splendens (Favette et Trouessart, 1904) syn. nov. is a junior synonym of A. velifer (Trouessart, 1899); A. distensis (Favette et Trouessart, 1904) syn. nov. is a junior synonym of A. affinis (Mégnin et Trouessart, 1884). Apexolichus platycerci (Mironov, Dabert et Proctor, 2003) comb. nov. is a new combination for this species, which was formerly placed in the genus Titanolichus. Phylogenetic analysis (MP) confirms the monophyly of the genera Apexolichus and Titanolichus. Both of these genera, together with the monotypic genus Sideroferus Gaud et Atyeo, 1996 (being a sister group of Titanolichus), form a clade within the Protolichus generic group and are restricted in their host associations to parrots of the tribe Platycercini (Psittacidae, Psittacinae), members of which occur in the Australia and Indo-Malayan region. Representatives of each genus are restricted to a particular genus or a few genera of Platycercini. Host associations of these genera are briefly discussed.


Feather mites Pterolichidae phylogenetic analysis host-parasite associations systematic revision new species Psittaciformes 


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Copyright information

© Versita 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacek Dabert
    • 1
  • Serge V. Mironov
    • 2
  • Rainer Ehrnsberger
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Animal MorphologyA. Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesSaint PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Nature Conservation and Environmental EducationUniversity of VechtaVechtaGermany

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