english VersionDeutsche Version Veterinärmedizinische Fakultät, Universität Leipzig, Institut für Parasitologie (Institutsdirektor: bis 30.Sept.2001 Prof. Dr. Regine Ribbeck; ab 01.Okt.2001 Prof. Dr. A. Daugschies)
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The occupation with feather mites was triggered off by the unexpected finding of feather mites on budgerigars. The available German ornithological, bird-breeder, as well as veterinary literature was not sufficient. The study of special parasitological literature resulted in a general overview of feather mites, however there was no reference to specific budgerigar feather mites. The existence of budgerigar feather mites was described in English literature, but no or little information concerning pattern of living, feeding behaviour, life cycle or treatment was given. This situation made us curious and therefore we started to systematically collect and study the multitudinous English literature about feather mites of all bird species. All birds, which were presented in the small animal practice of Dr Evelyne Schöne (Markleeberg) as well dead birds on which post-mortem examinations were to be done at the Institute of Veterinary Pathology were microscopically examined for feather mites. We have detected most of the feather mites of native wild birds by examining dead birds, so-called road accident victims, or birds that have flown against objects (e.g. glass surfaces) and also by examining plucked feathers (Dr Jürgen Synnatzschke, Leipzig). We were able to gain many assistants who supported us immensely with the procurement of of examination material (see note of thanks).

The existing results of our investigations has demonstrated a widespread infestation with feather mites on the budgerigar, on agapornids, on indigenous wild birds and on house and wild pigeons.

Objectives of our work:

- Collecting the globally distributed literature about feather mites
- Building up a collection of permanent feather mite preparations at the Institute of Parasitology of the University of Leipzig
- Building up a slide documentation of all the feather mites in the collection
- Research about the importance of feather mites in veterinary science
- Research about the biology of feather mites, especially those found on indigenous birds

Our Team:

- Dr. med. vet. Richard Schöne
- Dr. med. vet. Ronald Schmäschke
- Dipl.-Ing. Margit Sachse