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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.48, Supplement, 2003, S185-S233
Jacek Dabert - The feather mite family Syringobiidae Trouessart, 1896 (Acari, Astigmata, Pterolichoidea).
II. Phylogeny and host-parasite evolutionary relationships
Department of Animal Morphology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 28 Czerwca 1956/198, 61-485 Poznan, Poland
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A cladistic reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships between species of the feather mite family Syringobiidae was carried out. The maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining analyses were based on 201 external morphological characters of 65 syringobiid species (two species represented by 2 morphotypes each) and 4 species of pterolichid and ptiloxenid outgroups. The MP analysis produced 2 equally most parsimonious trees that were phylogenetically consistent and topologically very similar to the single tree reconstructed by NJ procedure. The results confirmed the monophyly of the family and monophyly of most syringobiid genera. The generic status of Limosilichus was weakly supported. Intergeneric relationships were most stable and well supported in the basal part of the tree (Plutarchusia-Paidoplutarchusia, Leptosyringobia, Grenieria, Thecarthra) with the exception of the position of the genus Raineria. All remaining species were placed in a large monophyletic clade with weaker statistical support for its internal composition. The present studies revealed the Magimeliinae as a sistergroup of Syringobiidae, a relationship that is discordant with the hitherto prevailing hypothesis. The cospeciation hypothesis was strongly supported statistically as one of the main factors in the current distribution of syringobiid mites on the hosts. However, other evolutionary events including at least four instances of host-switching have also contributed into the contemporary observed host-syringobiid associations. Only among the Laridae have all lineages of Syringobiidae diverged in parallel with host birds and represent members of the original acarofauna. In contrast, most of the syringobiid acarofauna of shore birds (Scolopacida and Charadrioidea) had ancestors on the Laridae and secondarily cospeciated after switching from this host group onto new hosts. The reconciliation results for syringobiid mites were compared with the patterns shown by other commensal mites inhabiting the same hosts - subfamily Avenzoariinae. In Syringobiidae the number of cospeciations was significantly smaller and the contribution of sorting events was significantly greater than in Avenzoariinae. Differences in distribution patterns on hosts (prevalence and density) of these two taxa were probably responsible for the significant differences in importance of particular evolutionary events observed in both taxa. The differences in distribution patterns of Syringobiidae and Avenzoariinae may be related to different degrees of virulence of each taxon. The cospeciation analysis has also allowed reinterpretation of morphological features occurring in many Syringobiidae that are typical of mites inhabiting the vane.s surface. The adaptations are most probably apomorphic reversals due to these syringobiids secondarily reoccupying this microhabitat from the quill environment.

KEY WORDS: Feather mites, phylogeny, cladistic analysis, reconciled trees, bird-mite cospeciation, Syringobiidae

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