old baldy
African Birdlife|January - February 2021
Mite infestation in birds
PETER RYAN

Knemidokoptes mites are little-known parasites of bird skin, usually found on the legs or face. As they burrow through the skin, feeding on skin cells and feather bases, they cause symptoms ranging from skin lesions and pox-like growths to bill abnormalities and feather loss. Relatively little is known about these mites and the birds they target. They are known to infect a wide range of cage birds, but among wild birds they appear to be rather host-specific. They mainly seem to attack passerines, with more than 20 species reported to be affected.

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