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A case of mite-on-mammal ectoparasitism from Eocene Baltic amber (Acari: Prostigmata: Myobiidae and Mammalia: Erinaceomorpha)

Published on Feb 16, 2019in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology2.315
· DOI :10.1080/14772019.2017.1414889
Ekaterina A. Sidorchuk10
Estimated H-index: 10
(RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences),
Andre V. Bochkov14
Estimated H-index: 14
+ 1 AuthorsO. F. Chernova6
Estimated H-index: 6
(RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences)
Sources
Abstract
Tetrapods are rarely recovered from fossil resins, such as amber, and fossils of parasites are even rarer. We describe the first pre-Quaternary co-occurrence of ectoparasitic mites with hairs of their mammalian hosts, preserved in life-like detail from a piece of Eocene (∼ 40 Ma) Baltic amber. The mites, representing the oldest fossils of the family Myobiidae (Acari: Prostigmata: Eleutherengona), are described as Protohylomysobia erinaceophilus Sidorchuk & Bochkov gen. et sp. nov. and belong to the generic group Amorphacarus. Recent members of this group parasitize small-sized insectivores – shrews, moles and gymnures (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae, Talpidae and Erinaceidae: Galericinae). The fossils indicate that the evolution of Myobiidae and their relationships with mammals were well underway by the Eocene. The hairs of the hosts are also described, and are morphologically compared with those of Recent mammals. This comparison suggests an early-derivative member from an array of mammalian groups, a...
  • References (73)
  • Citations (2)
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References73
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Last. Jason A. Dunlop (Museum für Naturkunde)H-Index: 10
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#1Tommy L. F. Leung (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 16
Parasites are common in many ecosystems, yet because of their nature, they do not fossilise readily and are very rare in the geological record. This makes it challenging to study the evolutionary transition that led to the evolution of parasitism in different taxa. Most studies on the evolution of parasites are based on phylogenies of extant species that were constructed based on morphological and molecular data, but they give us an incomplete picture and offer little information on many importa...
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#1Lida Xing (China University of Geosciences)H-Index: 19
#2Ryan C. McKellar (University of Regina)H-Index: 13
Last. Philip J. Currie (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 52
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#1Jason A. Dunlop (Museum für Naturkunde)H-Index: 10
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Last. Arkady B. Savinetsky (RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 5
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#1Juan D. Daza (SHSU: Sam Houston State University)H-Index: 15
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#1Ekaterina A. Sidorchuk (RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 10
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