Protolichus casuarinus Trouessart, 1884,

Mironov, Sergey V. & Dabert, Jacek, 2010, Systematic revision of the feather mite genus Protolichus Trouessart, 1884 (Astigmata, Pterolichidae), Zootaxa 2526, pp. 1-36: 27-31

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Protolichus casuarinus Trouessart, 1884


Protolichus casuarinus Trouessart, 1884 

( Figs 16–18View FIGURE 16View FIGURE 17View FIGURE 18, 21View FIGURE 21 A)

Pterolichus (Protolichus) casuarinus Trouessart 1884: 529  ; Trouessart and Mégnin 1885: 54; Canestrini and Kramer 1899: 57; Dubinin 1956: 152.

Protolichus casuarinus: Gaud and Atyeo 1996: 132  .

Protolichus  (s. str.) brachiatus pugilator  Trouessart 1899: 43 (nom. n. pro P. casuarinus  ).

Protolichus  (s. str.) pugilator:  Favette and Trouessart 1904: 137, Pl. VI (part; fig. 5, male; not fig. 6 = female of brachiatus  group).

Material examined. Heteromorph male holotype ( TRT 35 E 4) ex Casuarius unappendiculatus Blyth, 1860  ( Casuariidae  ), New Guinea, Salwatty Island, no other data. 17 heteromorph males, 4 homeomorph males, 8 females (12 slides TRT 34 H 15, 5 slides TRT 34 F 16, labeled as P. pugilator  ) ex Pseudeos fuscata, New  Guinea, Yule Island; 8 heteromorph males, 1 female ( TRT 34 H 16), same host, New Guinea, no other data; 2 heteromorph males and 1 female ( TRT 34 F 3, 3 slides, labeled as P. pugilator  ) ex Chalcopsitta atra, New  Guinea, no other data.

Description. Heteromorph male (10 specimens from Pseudeos fuscata  ). Idiosoma, length x width, 600– 640 x 360–420 (idiosomal size of poorly preserved holotype of P. casuarinus  with missing distal parts of lobes 560 x 365). Subcapitulum with strong bow-shaped transverse fold in widest part and a pair of small curved folds posterolateral to setae subc, posterior margin slightly convex ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 E). Prodorsal shield with posterior margin straight in median part, length along midline 180–200, surface monotonously punctate, transverse bar across scapular setae poorly sclerotized. Setae si spiculiform, 50–60 long. Distance between scapular setae: se:se 72–78, si:si 35–42. Hysterosoma 410–435 long. Hysteronotal shield: length 395–430, width 280–300, anterior margin straight, surface monotonously punctate. Opisthosomal lobes with obliquely cut apex, with transverse crest posterior to bases of setae h 3 ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 G). Supranal concavity ovate, poorly expressed. Terminal cleft as a U, posterior half slightly wider than anterior one, length 68–72, width in anterior part 10–12, width posterior to setae e 1 14 –25. Setae c 2 spiculiform, 50–55 long; setae d 2 setiform, 30–35 long; setae e 2 thickened, not reaching the lobar apices, 90–100 long; setae e 1 situated on margin of terminal cleft, slightly posterior to level of macrosetae h 2; setae f 2 spatuliform, with bidentate apices. Distance between dorsal setae: c 2:d 2 135–152, d 2:e 2 160–170, e 2: e 1 72 (70), e 2:e 2 110–125, h 2:h 2 70–72, h 3:h 3 68–72, ps 1:ps 1 42–50, e 2:h 2 55–60, h 2:h 3 190 – 21, h 2: e 1 10–11, ps 1:h 3 10–11. Genital apparatus at level of anterior margin of trochanters IV, 28– 32 x 20–22. Paragenital apodemes with anterior ends extended to midlevel of coxal fields III, not connected to epimerites IIIa, posterior parts of apodemes connected by narrow transverse bridge ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 B). Distance between ventral setae: 3 b: 3a 20– 22, 3 a:g 26–32, g: 4a 70– 85, 4 a:ps 3 105–110. Diameter of anal suckers 21–22.

Legs II 1.3–1.4 times longer and much thicker than legs I. Tarsus I with crest-like ventral extension stretching along entire segment, proximal end of this extension widely rounded ( Figs 17View FIGURE 17 A, B). Tibia and genu I without ventral apophysis. Genual seta cG I setiform, noticeably thickened in basal half. Femur I with longitudinal ventral crest bearing seta vF ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 B). Tarsus II with large semi-ovate ventral extension bearing setae wa on its apex, with wide indented and verrucous dorsal crest between solenidion ω 1 and seta d, and with narrow smooth dorsal crest between solenidion ω 1 and lyrifissure ( Figs 18View FIGURE 18 A, B). Tibiae II with large claw-like apophysis on antaxial surface and with wide longitudinal dorsal crest ( Fig. 18View FIGURE 18 A). Genu II with small blunt-angular ventral apophysis at base of seta mG II, with wide longitudinal dorsal crest; seta cG II as wide blade, strongly curved in basal part, 1.4–1.5 times longer than segment. Solenidion φ of tibiae I, II with verrucae in basal parts. Tarsus IV slightly longer than corresponding tibia; setae d, e spiculiform with distinct basal ring ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 C).

Homeomorph male (2 specimens from Pseudeos fuscata  ). Subcapitulum with short transverse fold at midlevel and with numerous interrupted transverse striae ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 F). Terminal cleft as a narrow U, variable in shape: from cleft with posterior half slightly larger than anterior one (about 3 times longer than wide in posterior half) to one with almost straight and parallel margins (about 5 times longer than wide) ( Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 H). Transverse bridge between middle parts of paragenital apodemes absent.

Legs II slightly longer than legs I. Tarsi I, II with blunt-angular extensions on ventral margin ( Fig. 18View FIGURE 18 C). Tibiae and femora I, II not modified. Genua I, II with small tubercle-like extensions near bases of setae mG. Setae cG of genu II thickened, dagger-shaped, not longer than segment ( Fig. 18View FIGURE 18 D).

Measurements: Idiosoma, length x width, 520–530 x 310–315. Prodorsal shield 150–158 long. Setae si 48 – 40 long. Distance between scapular setae: se:se 75–78, si:si 42–45. Hysterosoma 372–375 long. Hysteronotal shield: greatest length 360–365, greatest width 240–250. Terminal cleft 57–63 long, width in anterior part 11– 15, width in posterior part 11–24. Length of lateral setae: c 2 40–45, d 2 25–28, e 2 90 –100. Distances between dorsal setae: c 2:d 2 125–130, d 2:e 2 140–150, e 2:e 2 110–120, h 2:h 2 68–70, h 3:h 3 60–65, ps 1:ps 1 40–41, e 2:h 2 50–52, h 2:h 3 19–20, h 2: e 1 9–10, ps 1:h 3 12–15. Genital apparatus 28–30 x 20 –22. Distance between ventral setae: 3 b: 3a 18– 20, 3 a:g 20–25, g: 4a 65– 70, 4 a:ps 3 95–100. Diameter of anal suckers 20.

Female (7 specimens). Subcapitulum as in homeomorph male. Idiosoma, length x width, 480–525 x 285– 315. Prodorsal shield with posterior margin straight, length along midline 140–145, most of surface monotonously punctate, transverse bar across scapular setae poorly sclerotized, lateral area at level of trochanters I may bear transverse wavy striae. Setae si spiculiform, 32–38 long. Distance between scapular setae: se:se 95–105, si:si 58–65. Hysterosoma 335–375 long. Hysteronotal shield: length 320–350, width 240–265, anterior margin straight, surface monotonously punctate, with poorly pronounced transverse wavy striation; subtegumental sclerotized bands posterior to setae e 2 slightly enlarged ( Fig. 21View FIGURE 21 A). Setae c 2 spiculiform, seta d 2 setiform, setae e 2 thick setiform, setae f 2 setiform or with narrow membranous expansion and additional spine on margin; setae ps 2 setiform, subequal in length to f 2, setae e 1 situated approximately at level of cupules im, setae ps 1 much shorter than half-width of idiosoma. Length of lateral hysteronotal setae: c 2 28–35, d 2 20–25, e 2 85 –100, f 2 35–40. Distance between hysteronotal setae: c 2:d 2 120–145, d 2:e 2 145– 155, e 1: e 2 70–85, e 2:h 3 62–78, e 2:e 2 172–185, h 2:h 2 90–100, ps 1:ps 1 35–48. Epigynum bow-shaped, 20 x 60. Seta mG of genu I, II setiform.

Type host and locality. Casuarius unappendiculatus  ( Casuariidae  ), New Guinea (accidental contamination).

Remark. Protolichus casuarinus  was described based on a sole male from the northern cassowary, Casuarius unappendiculatus  ( Casuariidae  ), by Trouessart (1885). Since the finding of this species on the cassowary was the obvious result of accidental contamination in the course of museum collecting, Trouessart (1899) renamed this species (against taxonomic rules) P. brachiatus pugilator  . Trouessart had apparently considered the epithet “ casuarinus  ” to be misleading. Further, Favette and Trouessart (1904) elevated “ P. b. pugilator  ” to the specific rank and redescribed it based on the specimens collected from three parrot species, Chalcopsitta atra  , Pseudeos fuscata  and Trichoglossus rubiginosus (Bonaparte, 1850)  ( Loriidae  ). These authors also mentioned “ P. pugilator  ” as occurring on hosts from various genera of lories “Trichoglossidae”. Gaud and Atyeo (1996) restored the valid name, P. casuarinus  , for this species.

The holotype (by monotypy) of P. c a s u a r i n u s is poorly preserved and quite unsuitable for a full redescription (both pairs of posterior legs and distal halves of opisthosomal lobes are lost), although main diagnostic structures of this species retained: a large claw-like apophysis of tibia II and blade-shaped genual seta cG II ( Fig. 18View FIGURE 18 A). Favette and Trouessart (1904) considered the specimens collected from three parrot species to be conspecific to this sole specimen of P. casuarinus  from the cassowary. However, it was not true, because that material actually represents a mixture of species. Even in the photos given by Favette and Trouessart (1904: Pl. VI, figs 5, 6), it is clearly visible that the female has saber-shaped setae e 2, which means that the displayed female belongs to the brachiatus  rather than to the crassior  species group. Examination of this material also showed that mites from T. rubiginosus  with certainty represent a undescribed species of the crassior  group. Heteromorph males from Ch. atra  and Ps. fuscata  correspond well to the description of “ P. pugilator  ” given by Favette and Trouessart (1904) with regard to the above diagnostic features of this species.

We did not find reliable differences between specimens from Ps. fuscata  and Ch. atra  , except for more divergent opisthosomal lobes in males from the latter host. Since there are only 2 males from this host, this difference may be an artifact of slide mounting. It is impossible to prove exactly, which of these two parrot species was the natural host of the holotype of P. casuarinus  . Taking into consideration that the structure of opisthosomal lobes in males from Ps. fuscata  look slightly more similar to those in the holotype of P. casuarinus  , and that these males also correspond better to the photo of the “ P. pugilator  ” heteromorph male ( Favette and Trouessart 1904: Pl. VI, fig. 5), we have chosen the material from this host for redescription. This means that we conclude that the natural host of P. c a s u a r i u s is Pseudeos fuscata  . We should keep in mind that mites from Ps. fuscata  and Ch. atra  might potentially be two different cryptic species.


Royal Ontario Museum - Herbarium














Protolichus casuarinus Trouessart, 1884

Mironov, Sergey V. & Dabert, Jacek 2010

Protolichus casuarinus:

Gaud 1996: 132


Favette 1904: 137

Pterolichus (Protolichus) casuarinus

Dubinin 1956: 152
Trouessart 1885: 54