Cyanolicimex patagonicus Carpintero, Di Iorio, Masello & Turienzo

Iorio, Osvaldo Di, Turienzo, Paola, Masello, Juan & Carpintero, Diego L., 2010, Insects found in birds’ nests from Argentina. Cyanoliseus patagonus (Vieillot, 1818) [Aves: Psittacidae], with the description of Cyanolicimex patagonicus, gen. n., sp. n., and a key to the genera of Haematosiphoninae (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), Zootaxa 2728, pp. 1-22 : 6-9

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.200077


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scientific name

Cyanolicimex patagonicus Carpintero, Di Iorio, Masello & Turienzo

sp. n.

Cyanolicimex patagonicus Carpintero, Di Iorio, Masello & Turienzo sp. n.

= Psitticimex uritui [non Lent & Abalos, 1946]: Masello & Quillfeldt 2004 b: 451 [distr.; host]; Masello et al. 2006 a: 522 [distr.: host]; Turienzo & Di Iorio 2007: 34 [cat.; host; distr.; refs.], Fig. 2 View FIGURES 2 – 7 [distr.; host]; Di Iorio et al. 2008: Table 7 [host; distr.; refs.], 20 [biol.]

Female Holotype: general coloration mostly brownish, with lateral margins of pronotum, hemelytral pads, legs, and antennae (excepting the apex of second segment), pale. Disks of head, pronotum, mesonotum, and hemelytral pads with long, sparse, and fine bristles.

Head 0.79 mm wide (= pIS), 0.81 mm long; posterior interocular space 4.47 times as wide as an eye (0.17 mm wide at the base). Antennae 2.13 mm long [A 1, 0.198 mm; A 2, 0.821; A 3, 0.623 mm; A 4, 0.495 mm]. Rostrum does not surpass posterior margin of fore coxae (slide-mounted).

Pronotum 1.65 mm wide, 0.57 mm long; PW / PL = 2.85; hind margins of pronotum rounded; bristles of sides regularly spaced, approximately of same length (0.35 mm) all along lateral margins; Lb 2 longer (0.396 mm) than lateral bristles ( Figs. 3–4 View FIGURES 2 – 7 ); both anterior and posterior lateral bristles (respect to Lb 2) 0.35 mm (Lb 1 not distinguishable from remaining lateral bristles, although it will correspond to first anterior lateral bristle respect to Lb 2) ( Figs. 3–4 View FIGURES 2 – 7 ). Mesonotum slightly raised along middle. Abdomen above with long bristles on basal end of each segment, extending well beyond edge. Legs long and slender; hind ones are the longest (2.18 mm). Front tibiae with a very small apical tuft of hair. All tarsi very long and slender.

Male Paratype: all tibiae with long, erect, and thick bristles; anterior ones slightly thinner. Small tuft of hair in apices of front ( Fig. 27 View FIGURES 21 – 27 ) and middle tibiae. Genital segment strongly asymmetrical ( Fig. 7 View FIGURES 2 – 7 ).

Material examined. ARGENTINA: Río Negro: El Cóndor, XII- 2004, J.F. Masello leg., 1 female HOLOTYPE [ MACN] (slide-mounted), from nest of Cyanoliseus patagonus ; 3 km south of El Cóndor, 21 - XII- 1999, J.F. Masello leg., 1 male Allotype [ ZMB] (slide-mounted), 3 female Paratypes [ ZMB] (pinned), on Cyanoliseus patagonus , 1 nymph V Paratype [ ZMB], # 931 (58) (pinned), “ Psitticimex uritui (Lent & Ab.), det. J. Deckert 2001 ”, 1 nymph IV Paratype [ ZMB], # 927 (17) (pinned); same locality, 27 -XI-1999, 1 nymph II Paratype [ ZMB] (pinned); same locality, 7 -XII-1999, 1 nymph IV Paratype [ ZMB] (pinned), “Bñg + Tlen”; El Cóndor, XII- 2009, J.F. Masello leg., 5 nymphs IV Paratypes [ODI], one male Paratype [ODI], all slidemounted, from nests of Cyanoliseus patagonus .

Known distribution. ARGENTINA: Río Negro: Atlantic coast, easternmost kilometer of the colony (41 º 3 ’ S, 62 º 48 ’ W) ( Masello & Quillfeldt 2004 b); 3 km west of the mouth of the Río Negro River, 30 km southeast of Viedma (41 º 04’ S, 62 º 50 ’ W) ( Masello et al. 2006 a). Further explorations are needed for determining if Cyanolicimex patagonicus is restricted to the type-locality and/or only to the subspecies Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus . This is the southernmost known limit of the Haematosiphoninae in the Western Hemisphere ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ), and the third Haematosiphoninae with a Psittacidae bird as a host.

Etymology. Specific epithet refers to the Argentinean region where this species was found ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ).

Bionomics of the host and Cyanolicimex patagonicus . The cimicid bugs live inside crevices along the face of the sandstone cliff where the Burrowing Parrots dig their burrows. From there, they access the burrows of the parrots and their breeding chambers. During the first years of bug collection (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004), the numbers of bugs were not quantified, but they were very high around all nests of the study sector at the Burrowing Parrot colony (for details and precise location of the study sector see Masello & Quillfeldt 2002, 2004a). In contrast, the cimicid bug was very scarce in the same parrot colony during December, 2009 (Masello pers. obs.). The summer 2009–2010 was very hot and dry, and the collected specimens died soon after they were extracted from the crevices and burrows.

The entire sequence of a breeding season of Cyanoliseus patagonus at El Cóndor (Masello & Quillfeldt 2002, 2004a 2008, Masello et al. 2006) can be, on average, summarized as follows.

1) Return of the migrating birds to the colony: August-September. 2) Copulations: September–October.

3) Incubation of the eggs: October–November.

4) Hatching of the nestlings: end of October through the end of November. 5) Nestling period: end of October through the end of January. 6) Fledgling: end of December through the end of January. 7) Migration (partial): February–March.

Therefore, the feeding period of C. patagonicus is restricted when the burrows are occupied by the parrots, i.e., from August −September through the end of January (fledgling of the nestlings). As the breeding pairs spend the night inside the nests during the nestling period ( Masello et al. 2006 c), both nestlings and adults can be food sources for C. patagonicus . After this, the bugs are deprived of food for at least 6 months (from February through the end of July).

In this way, the bionomics of C. patagonicus are similar to other species of Cimicidae from the nests of swallows in the Northern Hemisphere [ Oeciacus vicarius Horvath, 1912 from North America, and Oeciacus hirundinis (Lamark, 1816) from Europe]. Where colonies are reoccupied each year, the three-month breeding period of the cliff swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (Vieillot, 1817) [Aves: Hirundinidae ] limits its specialized ectoparasite, O. vicarius , to a short feeding period before host migration, and a food resource deprivation that lasts nine months ( Loye 1985).

Semi-collapsed and abandoned burrows of C. patagonus are also used by other bird species for nesting. Nevertheless, there are only few records in the literature (Appendix II), probably because of the inaccessibility of the places chosen by the Burrowing Parrots. Observations by one of the authors (J.F.M.) permit the addition of new records (Appendix II). These other bird species may be potential hosts of C. patagonicus , especially if some of them use the burrows for roosting during autumn and winter.

Noteworthily, the geographically-distant species Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha (Swainson, 1827) [Aves: Psittacidae ] from Mexico has a similar-associated ectoparasitic fauna ( Table 2). The nests of R. pachyrhyncha are made inside natural cavities or by using old woodpecker holes, forming high-density clusters of nesting pairs sharing nest trees, with a maximum of three nesting pairs per tree. Clusters contained a mean of 11.5 breeding pairs [5 nests/ha]. Thirty-three (68 %) from a total of 48 monitored nest trees were reused for at least 2 nesting seasons; a mean annual reuse was 62 ± 0.08 % nest trees [range 56–71 %] ( Monterrubio-Rico et al. 2006).

In contrast, Myiopsitta monachus (Boddaert, 1873) [Aves: Psittacidae ] is a nonmigratory Psittacidae , that uses its nest year-round for roosting and breeding ( Navarro et al. 1992). In this way, the food sources of Psitticimex uritui (Lent & Abalos, 1946) [ Hemiptera : Cimicidae ] are available all the time. The nests of M. monachus from western and northern Argentina are also colonized by great numbers of Argas monachus Keirans, Radovsky , & Clifford, 1973 [Acari: Argasidae ], exclusively specific to this parrot (Turienzo & Di Iorio pers. obs.).

Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha Cyanoliseus patagonus


Psyttopsylla mexicana [3] Hectopsylla psittaci [1]

Hectopsylla narium [4]

PHTHIRAPTERA Menoponidae Menoponidae

Heteromenopon sp. [3] Heteromenopon macrurum [2]

Psittacobrosus sp. [3] Philopteridae

Paragoniocotes meridionalis [2] HEMIPTERA Cimicidae Cimicidae

Ornithocoris sp. [3] Cyanolicimex patagonicus [5]


Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)