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Monday, 2 June 2014

Bird research this week on PubMed: May 2014 Week 4

PubMed listing for 'bird' OR 'songbird' excluding references to influenza and flu - May 2014 Week 4

1. Zootaxa. 2014 Apr 3;3785(2):175-200. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3785.2.3.

Revision of the subfamily Onychalginae Fain, 1988 (Acariformes: Pyroglyphidae)-ectoparasites of passerine birds.

Bochkov AV1, Klimov PB2, Grootaert P1.Author information:
1Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Universitetskaya Embankment 1, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia.; Email:
2Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA.; Email:


The subfamily Onychalginae Fain, 1988 (Acariformes: Pyroglyphidae) is a monophyletic lineage comprising the closest parasitic relatives of the free-living pyroglyphid house dust mites. Onychalgine mites parasitize passerine birds of the families Estrildidae, Passeridae, and Ploceidae in Africa and South America (a single record of Onychalges spinitarsis from a piciform bird requires confirmation). We revise this subfamily based on external morphology of adults and immature stages using light and scanning electron microscopy and give a key to species. Onychalginae includes 2 genera: Onychalges Gaud and Mouchet, 1959 (6 species) and Paramealia Gaud, 1968 (1 species). The genus Kivuicola Fain, 1971 syn. nov. is synonymized with Onychalges, and its single species K. kivuana Fain, 1971 syn. nov. is considered as a putative synonym of O. odonturus Gaud, 1968. Onychalges spinitarsis (Fain and Gaud, 1984) is considered as a species inquirenda.
PMID: 24872177 [PubMed - in process]
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2. Zootaxa. 2014 Apr 2;3785(1):1-24. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3785.1.1.

Saxicola syenitica Heuglin, 1869 (Aves: Passeriformes: Muscicapidae), an overlooked taxon of Oenanthe?

Shirihai H1, Schweizer M2, Kirwan GM3, Svensson L4.Author information:
1Emek Ayalon 39, Shoham 60850, Israel.; Email:
2Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern, Bernastrasse 15, CH 3005 Bern, Switzerland; Email:
3Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 South Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA.; Email:
4S:ta Toras väg 28, SE-269 77 Torekov, Sweden.; Email:


The North African population of the Black Wheatear has been treated as Oenanthe leucura syenitica for over 100 years. The type of syenitica was collected by Heuglin in June 1852 near the southern Egypt/northern Sudan border, well outside the range of the sedentary Black Wheatear. Morphometric inference and genetic analyses of partial sequences of the mitochondrial gene COI demonstrate that the type specimen of syenitica is not conspecific with O. leucura, but instead is closely related to O. lugens of the Middle East and North Africa, being most similar in plumage to O. lugens warriae of the basalt deserts of north-east Jordan and southern Syria. While syenitica was not separable in the analysed part of its mitochondrial DNA from O. l. lugens and O. l. warriae, it differs in morphometrics and plumage features from the latter. The type specimen is a first-summer bird with abraded plumage as expected for June, and may thus have been collected in its breeding range. Its morphological distinctiveness implies that syenitica might be taxonomically distinct from warriae. However, as it is known only from the type and its few associated data, we propose to treat it as a subspecies inquirenda of O. lugens. As a consequence of this, and the fact that we found no genetic or morphological differences between North African populations of O. leucura and riggenbachi Hartert, 1909, the name originally applied to the population in Western Sahara, the North African population takes the oldest available name to become O. leucura riggenbachi.
PMID: 24872167 [PubMed - in process]
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3. Zootaxa. 2014 Apr 17;3790(2):281-318. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3790.2.3.

A review of the natural history of adult Cetoniinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from Argentina and adjacent countries.

Iorio OD.Author information:
Entomología. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. 4º Piso, Pabellón II, Ciudad Universitaria C1428EHA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.; Email:


A compilation of the known natural history of adult Cetoniinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from Argentina and adjacent countries is provided. Food items of adult Cetoniinae include pollen and/or nectar (flower visitors), sap and/or slime flux, ripened fruits on plants, green tissues and leaves, and honey. Of the 36 species of Cetoniinae from Argentina, food items are known only for 11 species (30.5%). Attraction to light and bait-traps, adult activity periods, vertebrate predators, and the occurrence in bird nests are presented and discussed. Other insects that share the same food sources and bait-traps with Cetoniinae are mentioned.
PMID: 24869870 [PubMed - in process]
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