Louse (Insecta: Phthiraptera) infestations of European Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster Linnaeus, 1758) at Albertirsa, Hungary

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:K. Karáth, Fuisz, T. István, Vas, Z.
Journal:Ornis Hungarica
Date Published:Jan-01-2013
Keywords:Ectoparasite. lice, parasitism, preening

Abstract Colonial breeding birds such as the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), are per- fectly suited for ectoparasitological studies, as their elaborate social life and frequent body-to-body contacts in- duce high prevalence of louse (Phthiraptera) infestations. In this study we investigated a large breeding colony at Albertirsa, Hungary, and measured the louse burden of the breeding population. With more than 200 pairs nesting in the loess wall there, it may be Hungary’s largest colony of European Bee-eaters. We sampled breeding birds and compared their louse burdens between age groups and sexes. We report the prevalence, mean and median in- tensity of infestations of the three louse species harboured by the Bee-eaters, and the results of louse burden com- parisons between age groups and sexes.

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