a superfamily of parasitic ticks of the order Acariformes. There are more than 1,000 species, making up 111 genera. The insect is from 0.3 to 0.5 mm long. The body is divided by a transverse groove into two sections: the proterosoma and the hysterosoma. The proterosoma contains the mouth parts and two pairs of forelimbs, and the hysterosoma includes two pairs of hind limbs.
The ticks parasitize the feathers of wild and domesticated birds. They infest the quills and cause the feathers to fall out. The nymphal form of the tick migrates under the host’s skin, where it destroys the bird’s tissues. The parasites are controlled by treating the bird’s feathers with a powder or liquid insecticide.