Lice (Amblycera and Ischnocera) as vectors of Eulimdana spp. (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in Charadriform birds and the necessity of short reproductive periods in adult worms

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1993
Authors:C. M. Bartlett
Journal:Journal of Parasitology
Pagination:85 - 91
Date Published:1993
Keywords:Amblycera, aves, Ischnocera, microfilariae, Nematoda, skin inhabiting, vector

Lice transmit species of Eulimdana. Larvae of Eulimdana wongae are described from Austromenopon limosae and Actornithophilus limosae (Amblycera) and Carduiceps clayae (Ischnocera) collected on a marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa). Larvae of Eulimdana bainae are described from Austromenopon phaeopodis (Amblycera) and Lunaceps numenii phaeopi (Ischnocera) from a whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus). Adults of species of Eulimdana in charadriiform birds and Pelecitus fulicaeatrae in coots produce microfilariae for a short period only and then die and are resorbed (species of Eulimdana), a phenomenon called ephemerality, or become reproductively senescent but remain alive (P. fulicaeatrae). Microfilariae inhabit the skin and presumably survive for a prolonged period. The short period of production of microfilariae may be related to the fact that transmission is by permanent ectoparasites (lice) constantly exposed to microfilariae in the skin and the dangers of lice acquiring lethal numbers of microfilariae. Ephemerality may have evolved in species in which adults occupy sites where, when they die, they are harmlessly resorbed (e.g., species of Eulimdana in the neck). Reproductive senescence may have evolved in species that occupy sites where, if they were to die, they might provoke a life threatening inflammation (e.g., P. fulicaeatrae near joints in the legs).

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