Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


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Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2021) band 14: 399-438.

Results of the Mongolian-German Biological Expeditions since 1962, No. 362.


Copyright 2021, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale). Used by permission.


1. The genera Corvonirmus Eichler, 1944 (with 11 spp.), Hecatrishula Gustafsson & Bush, 2017 (with 8 spp.), and Lycocoranirmus Mey, 2017 (with 5 spp.), which belong to the Brueelia complex (Philopteridae s. l.), are morpho-structurally characterized mainly by head structures and chaetotaxy. They are defined as a group of related taxa that should be placed in the rank of a subfamily (Corvonirminae subfam. nov.) if the former Brueeliinae sensu EICHLER (1963:177) would get the status of a separate family (Brueeliidae).

2. Within the Corvonirmus group, the former Hecatrishula biguttata species group is assumed to be classified as new genus. Stubbenirmus gen. nov. with S. stubbeae spec. nov. (generotype) ex Podoces hendersoni Hume and S. koslovae (Clay, 1936) ex Podoces biddulphi Hume most likely represent the phylogenetically oldest branch within the Corvonirmus group. This pair (koslovae group) is closely related to S. docilis (Ansari, 1957) ex Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus Vaurie, but for the time being it represents a separate species group as well as Stubbenirmus biguttatus (Kellogg & Paine, 1914) ex Pyrrhocorax graculus forsythi Stoliczka. Stubbenirmus biguttatus mediates to Hecatrishula, from which Corvonirmus and Lycocoranirmus can be derived. So far it has not been investigated in detail how Olivinirmus Złotorzycka, 1964 is related to the Corvonirmus group and whether it is correct to include the Australian Brueelia of the Cracticidae (supposedly "Nirmus semiannulatus Piaget, 1883" on at least four host species) in the group or not.

3. The taxonomic-systematic block (1. and 2.) is preceded by a scientific-historical discourse on the prehistory of the Stubbenirmus species, in which reasonable doubts about the identity of Hecatrishula multipunctata (Clay, 1936) are presented.

4. The hypothesis that Stubbenirmus biguttatus and S. docilis synhospital would live on both Pyrrhocorax species is rejected.

5. Attention is drawn to the fact that of the four genera of the Corvonirmus group, only species of Corvonirmus and Hecatrishula synhospital (both on host species and on host individual) are regularly found. In a case still to be studied in more detail, Lycocoranirmus and Corvonirmus also appear to live on one host species (Corvus orru), but according to current knowledge they belong to different host subspecies (orru in New Guinea and Moluccas and ceciliae in Australia).

6. Parasitophyletic considerations on the Corvonirmus group indicate that the genera Podoces and Pyrrhocorax are probably at the root of the corvids.