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MITES IN AVICULTURE

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MITES IN AVICULTURE - A MAIN CAUSE

OF MORTALITY IN YOUNG CHICKS

The theme mite infestation is a very comprehensive challenge, if we know that approximately 50,000 species have been described and that most of mites have evolved and adapted very well to a changing environment, and many are no longer host specific. Mites are tiny parasitic arthropods (classified to the Phylum Arthropoda). Most mites are harmless predators of insects, or feeders on rotting plant material. Several types of mites can be found in homes and of these a few may bite humans or animals. Also a few mite are parasitic on birds and dangerous for weak chicks, but also for adult birds. Secondary bacterial infections and mortality can occur in severe mite infestations. As birdbreeder we have detect the first signs of a mite infestation. Bird mites are naturally found where birds and their nest are located and also in the aviculture, where bird breeder and bird keeper are keeping birds in captivity. The term bird mite includes several types of mite species: 1. Bloodsucking mites, mainly feed on the blood and survive and thrive in birding nesting material, on perches, in chinks, gaps and other dark places of cages, walls, etc.: - The red bird mite, also called red fowl mite, red poultry mite,   red feather mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) - The Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) - The tropical fowl mite, also called domestic starling mite, (Ornithonyssus bursa) 2. Non-bloodsucking mites are burrowing sarcoptid mites (Knemidocoptes mites = scaley leg and face mites). These mites infects all fowl, wild and caged avians. Knemidocoptes mites burrow into unfeathered skin, causing not only unsightly, also life-threatening lesions. Frequently occurring “Knemidocoptes” mites are devided in the species: - Knemidocoptes pilae, in earlier years only frequent occurrence in budgerigars, canaries, finches and a variety of other bird species, nowadays [2016] predominantly parasitizes psittacine birds, such as budgerigars. cockatiels, Alexandrine parakeets, ring-necked parakeets, scarlet-chested parrots, Princess parrots, yellow-fronted kakariki, especially palm cockatoos, sulphur- crested cockatoos, green-winged macaws and Amazon parrots. - Knemidocoptes jamaicensi. Thus classified, since they first appeared in Jamaican wild birds. According to new reports, it was found that the host nowadays [2016] are mainly passerines, such as canaries, gouldian finches and mynahs. In these birds the species K. jamaicensi cause mainly scaley legs. But even in blackbirds, grackles, crows, catbirds, woodpeckers and several other species in the United States and Canada, an investation of K. jamaicensi was found. Also in Europa in chaffinches the mite species was detected. - Knemidocoptes mutans, frequent occurrence in dometic fowls and turkey. The species K. mutans has been confused with K. pilae. - Procnemidocoptes janssensi mainly has been found in lovebirds (Agapornis species). - Knemidocoptes gallinae, frequent occurrence in fowl, pigeons pheasants and geese infects primarly the feathers in birds, therefore also called “Depluming or Feather Mite”. K. gallinae burrows into the basal shafts and feathers on the epidermis. - Knemidocoptes laevis, also a depluming or feather Mite and mainly detected in pigeons. - Neocnemidocoptes gallinae, the third most detected depluming or feather mite affected mainly pheasants, chickens, pigeons and geese. - Knemidocoptes intermedius, most commonly infects the bird legs. About several unclassified Knemidocoptes species are no more information available or considerable and/or other additional species affect only wild birds. 3. Bloodsucking mites, which lives in the entire respiratory tract in birds (bronchi, lungs, air sacs, and abdominal organs) are called Air-sac mites. The most important species are - Sternostoma tracheacolum in canaries and finches - Cytodites nudus in chickens, turkeys, pheasants, pigeons, and mallards More informations about air-sac mites in birds read here...>
NOTE: All articles about bird diseases and medications are used only for general information and not for a self- prescribe medication. Please do not self-prescribe medication for your birds without talking to your vet first, because the wrong drug given to the bird can kill!  Also drug doses and formulations can change all the time, and everyinformation that is current now may not be applicable in the future. A veterinary should be consulted in any case.
4. Feather mites are highly host specific. It's are said that each bird species has its own mite species. Feather mites live inside the quills and on the surface of the feathers in birds. Here a small selection of feather mites species and their specific hosts: - Afrolichus sp., detected in Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) - Apexolichus sp., detected in Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis) - Apexolichus affinis, detected in Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus), Twenty-eight Parrot (Barnardius semitorquatus) - Apexolichus psephoti, detcted in Cloncurry parakeet (Barnardius barnardi macgillivrayi) - Aralichus sp., detected in Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis) - Analges passerinus, detected in Canary (Serinus canaria), Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) - Analges sturninus, detected in Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - Analges sp., detected inter alia in Red-billed-Firefinch (Lagonistica senegala), White-bellied Go-away Bird (Criniferoides  leucogaster), Zebra Finch(Taeniopygia guttata) - Dubininia melopsittaci, a mite species that infest mainly psittacine birds, such as Barred Parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis personata nigrigenis), Black–winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta), Bourke's Parrot (Neopsephotus bourkii), Brown-headed Parrot (Poicephalus cryptoxanthus), Brown Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri), Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Demera Conure (Pyrrhura egregia), Eastern (Platycercus eximius), Electus Parrot (Electus roratus), Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans), Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri), Grey-headed Lovebird (Agapornis canus), Hoode Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius dissimilis), Indian Blue Quail (Coturnix chinensis chinensis), Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata), Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), Mountain Parakeet (Bolborhynchus aurifrons), Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius), Nyasa Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae), Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae), Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematotonus), Red-winged Parrot (Apromictus erythropterus), Scarlet-chested Parrot (Neophema splendida), Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus), Sierra Parakeet (Bolborhynchus aymara) Slender-billed Conure (Enicognathus leptorhynchus), Superb Parrot(Polytelis swainsonii), Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella), Twenty-eight Parrot (Barnardius semitorquatus), White-eared Conure (Pyrrhura leucotis griseipectus), Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis), Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps) - Falculifer rostratus, obviously prefers flight feathers of wings in some species of pigeons, such as Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Stock Dove (Columba oenas), African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea), Housepigeon (Columba livia), Trocaz Pigeon (Columba trocaz), Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) - Megninia columbae, found quite often on feathers of tail in pigeons - Megninia ginglymura also causes in poultry a pruritic dermatitis and induces feather plucking by them selve. - Mesalgoides megnini, detected in Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), European Serin (Serinus serinus) - Mesalgoides ocinum, destected in Eurasian Bullfinch - Neoaulobia sp., detected inter alia in Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) - Proctophyllodes serini, Canary (Serinus canaria), European Serin (Serinus serinus) - Sideroferus lunula, is only been found on Budgerigars. - Strelkoviacarus sp., Canary (Serinus canaria), Fire Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus), Red-crowned Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus)
RELATED ARTICELS TO THE TOPIC: What are Feather Mites? What are Air-sac Mites?
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W. Hagelberg's zoologischer Hand-Atlas              
was published between 1879-1881. The second part (Part B) includes the part AVES. It’s a collection of 285 rare bird illustrations read more>