University of California

Revision of the genus Sternostoma Berlese and Trouessart (Acarina: Rhinonyssidae)


Deane P. Furman

Author Affiliations

Deane P. Furman was Associate Professor of Parasitology and Associate Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 26(10):473-495. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n10p473. March 1957.

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The Genus Sternostoma(Berlese and Trouessart, 1889), is composed of mites parasitic in the nasal cavities of birds. The parasites’ primary habitat is the region of the mucous membrane-covered turbinates although they are often found in the anterior nares and even in the larynx and trachea. The mites are sluggish organisms that move slowly on and in the mucous of the cavities. The majority is collected well engorged with blood of the host.

The genus is closely related to Rhinonyssus(Trouessart, 1894), and indeed the two genera were considered by (Zumpt and Till (1955))3 and (Pereira and de Castro (1949)) to be the same—an opinion not shared here.

The genus Sternostoma was erected by (Berlese and Trouessart (1889)) to accommodate the species S. cryptorhynchum. (Trouessart (1895)) proposed the name Sternostomum as an emendation of the earlier Sternostoma, and added the species Sternostoma rhinolethrum: Sternostoma, having priority, remains the valid name. (De Castro (1948)) and (Strandtmann (1951)) demonstrated that S. rhinolethrum belongs in the genus Rhinonyssus as described by (Trouessart (1894)).

(Vitzthum (1935)) and (Bregetova (1950), (1951) distinguish between Sternostoma with two dorsal plates and Sternostomum with one dorsal plate. Under this interpretation, Sternostomum would include some species from Sternostoma and some from Rhinonyssus. This viewpoint does not seem tenable since the dorsal plates are obviously regressing in these mites and do not represent a stable characteristic.

(De Castro (1948)) and (Pereira and de Castro (1949)) recognize, as subgenera, Rhinonyssus with one dorsal plate and Sternostoma with two dorsal plates, and include both in the genus Rhinonyssus. Here, again, too great a stress has been placed on the number of dorsal plates.

(Zumpt and Till (1955)) agree with de Castro and Pereira, but, pointing out that the name Sternosioma has priority over Rhinonyssus, use the former generic name.

Literature Cited

Berlese A., Trouessart E. L. Diagnoses d’acariens nouveaux on peu connus 1889. pp.121-43. Biblioth. Scient. Ouest. Bul. 2 an., 2 pt. (9): [Not seen]

Bregetova N. G. New species of endoparasitic mites of the family Rhinonyssidae (Gamasoidea, Acarina). Dokl. Akad. Nauk. S.S.S.R. 1950. 71(5):1,00508- (In Russian)

Bregetova N. G. Mites parasitic in nasal cavities of birds. Parazitolog. sbornik. 1951. XIII:111-19. (In Russian)

De Castro M. P. Reestructuracao generica da familia “Rhinonyssidae Vitzthum, 1935” (Acari Mesostigmata: Gamasides) e descricao da algumas especies novas. Arch. Inst. Biolog. Sao Paulo. 1948. 18(13):253-84.

Fain A. Les acariens de la famille Rhinonyssidae Vitzthum 1935 parasites des fosses nasales des oiseaux au Ruanda-Urundi (note preliminaire). Rev. Zool. Bot. Africaines. 1956a. 53(1-2):131-57.

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Lawrence R. F. Studies on some parasitic mites from Canada and South Africa. Jour. Parasitol. 1948. 34(5):364-79. DOI: 10.2307/3273600 [CrossRef]

Pereira C., De Castro M. P. Revisao da subfamilia “Ptilonyssinae Castro, 1948” (Acari Mesostigmata: Rhinonyssidae Vitz.), com a descricao de algumas especies novas. Arch. Inst. Biolog. Sao Paulo. 1949. 19(15):217-35.

Strandtmann R. W. The mesostigmatic nasal mites of birds. II. New and poorly known species of Rhinonyssidae. Jour. Parasitol. 1951. 37(2):129-40. DOI: 10.2307/3273443 [CrossRef]

Trouessart E. L. Note sur les acariens parasites des fosses nasales des oiseaux. Compt. Rend. Soc. Biol., Paris, 10. s. 1894. 1:723-24.

Trouessart E. L. Note sur un acarien parasite des fosses nasales de l’oie domestique (Sternostomum rhinolethrum, n. sp.). Rev. Sci. Nat. Appliq. 1895. 42:392-94.

Vitzthum H. Graf. Milben aus der Nasenhöhle von Vogeln. Jour. Ornith. 1935. 83(4):563-87. DOI: 10.1007/BF01905801 [CrossRef]

Zumpt F., Till W. M. Nasal mites of birds hitherto known from the Ethiopian Region, with keys and descriptions of nine new species (Acarina: Laelaptidae). Jour. Ent. Soc. So. Africa. 1955. 18(1):60-92.

Furman D. 1957. Revision of the genus Sternostoma Berlese and Trouessart (Acarina: Rhinonyssidae). Hilgardia 26(10):473-495. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n10p473
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