Lyrebirds with leg mites

Subject: Lyrebirds with leg mites
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 12:02:55 +1000
Hi birders,

While doing some work with Superb Lyrebirds last year here in the Blue Mountains, I noticed that some of them were suffering from an unsightly leg condition which, as it turns out, is probably due to Knemidocoptes mites. Most of the birds with the condition were immatures. I would like to get an idea of how widespread this condition is and whether it's a normal part of most lyrebird populations, or not. Transmission is only by direct contact between birds so it's likely to be more concentrated where there are high densities of lyrebirds. I know that it does also occur in the lyrebirds at Sherbrooke Forest (Victoria) and has been identified there as the mite Knemidocoptes intermedius.

With winter approaching and lyrebirds becoming more prominent, can I ask that if anyone sees a lyrebird with a similar leg condition to let me know the location, etc. The condition is quite obvious in the field, looking like a pale scaly growth on all or part of the legs. I can send a photo to anyone who's interested.



Carol Probets
Guided birding in the Blue Mountains & Capertee Valley
PO Box 330
Katoomba NSW 2780


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