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Persistence of passerine ectoparasites on the diederik cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius.


Lindholm, A K; Venter, G J; Ueckermann, E A (1998). Persistence of passerine ectoparasites on the diederik cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius. Journal of Zoology, 244(1):145-153.

Abstract

Using the African diederik cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius and four sympatric passerine foster species in the subfamily Ploceinae, we show that nestling cuckoos are infested by feather lice and mites derived from the ectoparasite fauna typical of the foster species. Adult cuckoos had five species of lice and mites normally found on ploceines, which demonstrates that these ectoparasites are able to survive on foreign hosts. This is the first record of persistence of passerine ectoparasites on a cuckoo. Adult diederik cuckoos also harboured four species of mites and lice specific to cuckoos; since these were not detected on nestlings, cuckoo-specific lice and mites apparently transfer to cuckoos after they leave the nest. Contrary to prediction, ectoparasites with a life cycle involving a permanent association with their host (feather mites and lice) were more likely to transfer to cuckoo nestlings than ectoparasites which spend part of their life cycle away from their host (haematophagous mites and phoretic skin mites). New host records are established for the lice genera Brueelia, Cuculoecus, Machaerilaemus, Myrsidea, Philopterus as well as for the mite species Microlichus americanus, Ornithonyssus bursa, Ornithocheyla megaphallos, Pellonyssus reedi, Pteronyssoides passeris, Pternonyssus glossifer, Trouessartia baupi, T. carpi, Xolalges plocei, X. scaurus and the mite genus Passeroptes.

Using the African diederik cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius and four sympatric passerine foster species in the subfamily Ploceinae, we show that nestling cuckoos are infested by feather lice and mites derived from the ectoparasite fauna typical of the foster species. Adult cuckoos had five species of lice and mites normally found on ploceines, which demonstrates that these ectoparasites are able to survive on foreign hosts. This is the first record of persistence of passerine ectoparasites on a cuckoo. Adult diederik cuckoos also harboured four species of mites and lice specific to cuckoos; since these were not detected on nestlings, cuckoo-specific lice and mites apparently transfer to cuckoos after they leave the nest. Contrary to prediction, ectoparasites with a life cycle involving a permanent association with their host (feather mites and lice) were more likely to transfer to cuckoo nestlings than ectoparasites which spend part of their life cycle away from their host (haematophagous mites and phoretic skin mites). New host records are established for the lice genera Brueelia, Cuculoecus, Machaerilaemus, Myrsidea, Philopterus as well as for the mite species Microlichus americanus, Ornithonyssus bursa, Ornithocheyla megaphallos, Pellonyssus reedi, Pteronyssoides passeris, Pternonyssus glossifer, Trouessartia baupi, T. carpi, Xolalges plocei, X. scaurus and the mite genus Passeroptes.

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20 citations in Web of Science®
21 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:1998
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0952-8369
Publisher DOI:10.1017/S0952836998001162

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