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Mites (Acari: Pterygosomatidae, Macronyssidae) taken from lizards intercepted at the New Zealand border

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posted on 2023-05-03, 14:24 authored by Allen HeathAllen Heath, A. H. Whitaker
A total of 1458 lizards in 12 families representing 16 species was examined and mites infesting them removed and identified. Amongst these potential hosts no mites were found on 264 lizards representing a further 65 species. The lizards were border incursions in New Zealand, arriving predominately on ships and found later at wharves. The Asian house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus was the predominant species (n=886) and 414 lizards in four families yielded mites, with Gekkonidae (410) the principal hosts. Among the four genera and 16 species of mites found, Geckobia bataviensis (Pterygosomatidae) predominated, with only one macronyssid (Ophionyssus scincorum) found. The findings increase the known range of G. bataviensis and G. keeganisubstantially, and there are new host records for 14 species of mites. The most common mite, G. bataviensis, occurred in conjunction with 8 other species, but overwhelmingly with G. keegani. The hind digits were the most favoured attachment sites for both G. bataviensis and G. keegani, exceeding those on the fore digits by 2.5 to 3.4 times respectively. Female mites exceeded males by ratios of 1:73.8 for G. bataviensis and 1: 21.6 for G. keegani. Biosecurity implications for New Zealand's endemic lizard and acarine fauna are discussed, especially the possibility of transfer of exotic mites (host-switching) to native lizards which could potentially endanger the health of endemic hosts and possibly displace their own mite fauna.


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© Systematic & Applied Acarology Society


  • English

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  • No


Systematic and Applied Acarology Society

Journal title

Systematic & Applied Acarology




Heath, A. C. G., & Whitaker, A. H. (2015). Mites (Acari: Pterygosomatidae, Macronyssidae) taken from lizards intercepted at the New Zealand border. Systematic & Applied Acarology, 20(7), 739–756. doi:10.11158/saa.20.7.3

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