Ornithonyssus bursa

Ornithonyssus bursa, otherwise known as the tropical fowl mite, is a common ectoparasite of domestic and wild birds in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. In the United States, it's found in the eastern and southern states.

The tropical fowl mite is a close relative to the northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum), and appears very similar.
Like the northern fowl mite, the tropical fowl mite is primarily found in feathers around the vent area of birds. Feathers become matted and dirty in appearance from the buildup of mites, mite eggs, mite feces, and cast exoskeletons.

Tropical Fowl Mite Life Cycle: The female tropical fowl mite lays their eggs in the fluff of their host feathers, or sometimes in nesting materials nearby. The eggs take 2 to 3 days to hatch, in which larvae emerge. The complete lifecycle from egg to adult takes about 7 to 10 days. It can survive off chickens for up to 10 days.



  • Order: Mesostigmata
  • Family: Macronyssidae
  • Genus: Ornithonyssus


  • canaries
  • caracara
  • chickens
  • common sparrow
  • ducks
  • English starling
  • kingbird
  • meadowlark
  • pigeons
  • red-eyed vireo
  • turkey
  • wood thrush
  • rodents
  • humans