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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) spheniscus n. sp. [Acarina: Ixodoidea: Argasidae: Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) capensis group], a tick parasite of the Humboldt penguin in Peru.

Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) spheniscus n. sp., described from wild-caught and laboratory-reared females, males, nymphs, and larvae parasitizing the Humboldt Penguin, Spheniscus humboldti Meyen, is the fifth species of the Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) capensis group to be recognized in the Neotropical Region. A related Peruvian species, Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) amblus Chamberlin, also parasitizes S. humboldti but is recorded from a wider range of marine birds breeding on the Pacific coast and offshore islands, where the birds congregate to feed on the rich fish fauna usually produced by the Humboldt current. Differential criteria are provided for the new species, O. (A.) amblus, and Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) yunkeri Keirans, Clifford, and Hoogstraal of the Galapagos. These 3 members of the O. (A.) capensis group parasitize marine birds associated with the Humboldt current in western South America and the Galapagos. Persons visiting Humboldt Penguin breeding sites in caves and on barren coastal ledges are eagerly attacked by nymphal and adult O. (A.) spheniscus and suffer afterward from pruritus and slowly-healing blisters. The O. (A.) spheniscus life cycle required 128 to 193 days in the laboratory and, as typical of bird-parasitizing members of the subgenus Alectorobius, the first nymphal instar did not feed.[1]


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