A recently described North American mite, Harpirhynchus quasimodo (Acariformes: Harpirhynchidae), was identified in a wild brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) from Tennessee and another from Arkansas, U. S. A., during 2010 and 2011, respectively. Consistent with a single previous report of H. quasimodo infestation, both cowbirds had multiple skin masses composed of epidermal cysts filled with harpirhynchid mites, keratin, and cellular debris. Although very little is currently known about this avian mite, these three reports suggest that H. quasimodo infestation is a rare source of overt disease in free-ranging brown-headed cowbirds from the southeastern United States; however, further research and surveillance efforts are needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- General Immunology and Microbiology