Thalassornectes (Alcidectes) aukletae, originally described from two species of auklets (Charadriiformes: Alcidae) from maritime eastern Russia, is reported from a third species of pelagic charadriiform (Stercorariidae), the pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius poinarinus (Temminck), from Florida. The specimens from the jaeger are slightly smaller, the genital apodeme is more heavily sclerotized, paired setae gm are twice as long and there are other minor variations in the idiosomal and leg chaetotaxy. These differences are not considered sufficient to warrant taxonomic separation at the species or subspecies level from the nominate species T. (A.) aukletae. The same hypopus occurring across different families of birds is unusual in the Hypoderatidae. The diversity in hosts from several orders of birds, low intensities of infection in the two species from Africa, low prevalences in alcids from Russia, and rarity of these hypoderatids in all surveyed hosts leads us to speculate that the true host affinities of species in the genus Thalassornectes are unknown. The alternative consideration is that these are simply uncommon species that are very host specific.
Additional Publication Details
First report of an hypopus (Acari: Hypoderatidae) from a jaeger (Aves: Charadriiformes: Stercorariidae)