The Prevalence and Intensity of Louse (Phthiraptera, Mallophaga) and Tick (Acarina: Ixodidae) Infestation of Birds in South African Grasslands

G. Kopij 1  and R. Price 2
  • 1 Agricultural University of Wrocław, Kożuchowska str., 5 b, Wrocław, 51-631 Poland
  • 2 14049 Burnhan Court, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903-257 U.S.A.

The Prevalence and Intensity of Louse (Phthiraptera, Mallophaga) and Tick (Acarina: Ixodidae) Infestation of Birds in South African Grasslands

A total of 270 birds represented by 12 species were examined for the presence of lice and ticks. Birds were collected in South African grasslands. Extensity of louse and tick infestation ranged from 10% to 80% and from 3% to 33% respectively. Average number of lice per host species ranged from 1 to 15, while average number of ticks per host species ranged from 1 to 5. Only single specimens (0.4%) were heavily parasited by lice and ticks respectively. Lice infested birds more often during the dry season, while ticks infested birds mainly during the rain season.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ash J. S. A study of the Mallophaga of birds with particular reference to their ecology // Ibis. — 1960 — 102.— P. 93-110.

  • Belozerov V. N., Kopij G. Changes in population stage structure of an argasid tick Argas arboreus during nesting season of its host, the Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, in South Africa // Acarina.— 1997.— 5. — P. 63-68.

  • Horak I. G., Boomker J. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XXXV. Ixodid ticks and bot fly larvae in the Bontebok National Park // Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. — 1998. — 65.— P. 205-211.

  • Horak I. G., Fourie L. J., Novellie P.A., Williams E. J. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XXVI. The mosaic of ixodid tick infestations on birds and mammals in the Mountain Zebra National Park // Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research — 1991 a. — 58. — P. 125-136.

  • Horak I. G., Spickett A. M., Braack L. E. O., Williams E. J. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XXVII. Ticks on helmeted guineafowls in the eastern Cape Province and eastern Transvaal Lowveld // Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. — 1991 b.— 58.—P. 137-143.

  • Horak I. G., Williams E. J. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XVIII. The crowned guineafowl [sic!] (Numida meleagris), an important host of immature ixodid ticks // Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. — 1986. — 53. — P. 119-122.

  • Ledger J. A. Arthropod Parasites of Vertebrates in Africa South of Sahara. Vol. 4: Phthiraptera (Insecta). — Johannesburg.: Publ. S. A. Inst. Med. Res., 1980. — 56 p.

  • Louw J. P., Horak I. G., Meyer S., Price R. D. Lice on helmeted guineafowls at five localities in South Africa // Onderstepoort J. vet. Res. — 1993. — 60 — P. 223-228.

  • Meinerzhagen R., Clay T. List of Mallophaga collected from birds brought to the society's prosectorium // Proc. zool. Soc. London. — 1948. — 117. — P. 675-679.

  • Urquhart G. M., Armour J., Duncan J. L. et al. Veterinary Parasitology. — UK.: Longman. Burnt Hill, 1987.

  • Walker G. A review of the ixodid ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) occurring in southern Africa // Onderstepoort J. Veterinary Research. — 1991. — 58.— P. 81-105.

  • Walter G. Zur Bedeutung der Heckenbraunelle Prunella modularis als Wirt des Holzbocks Ixodes ricinus (Ixodoidea, Ixodidae) // Braunschw. Naturk. Schr. — 1987. — 2. — S. 719-723.

  • Złotorzycka J. Katalog Fauny Pasożytniczej Polski. Cz. 4 : Pasożyty ptaków. Z. 3 : Pasożytnicze stawonogi. — Warszawa; Wrocław : Panstwowe Wydawnictwa Naukowe, 1990.

  • Złotorzycka J. Catalogue of Parasites of Poland. P. 4 : Avian parasites. Is. 3: Arthropod parasites. — Warszawa; Wrocław : Państwowe Wydawnictwa Naukowe, 1990 p. — (Polish).

  • Złotorzycka J., Modrzejewska M., Kopij G. A preliminary study of Mallophaga in South African birds // Pol. Pismo entomol. — 1999. — 68.— P. 9-21.

  • Zucchi, H. Zum Befall von Vogeln durch Holzbocke (Ixodes ricinus) // Bonn. Zool. Beitr. — 1979. — 30 — S. 192-94.