A study of the ectoparasites of alcids in Newfoundland

Eveleigh, Eldon Spencer (1974) A study of the ectoparasites of alcids in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Three groups of ectoparasites, namely, Mallophaga, ticks and feathermites, were recovered from two hundred and sixty-seven alcids of six specie's (Alca torda, Uria aalge, Uria lomvia, Plautus alle, Cepphus grylle, Fratercula arctica) examined. Mallophaga of the genera Saemundssonia, Quadraceps (Ischnocera) and Austromenopon (Amblycera) were recovered from five alcids; only Saemundssonia and Quadraceps from C. grylle. One species of ixodid tick, Ixodes (Ceratitodes) uriae, was recovered from all but P. alle and C. grylle, the majority of which were examined in the winter. Only A. torda and F. arctica harboured feathermites belonging to the genus Alloptes. Four new geographical records and one new host record are reported. -- No significant difference (P > 0.05) was found in the mallophagan infestation of hosts and in the tick infestation of U. aalge from year to year. The tick infestation of F. arctica differed in 1972 and 1973, probably due to few immature Larus argentatus being present in the colony during the latter year. No significant difference was noted for the mallophagan and tick infestation of hosts with regard to sex of the hosts. A correlation was noted only between the weight and mallophagan infestation of U. lomvia. -- Data on the degree of infestation of both adults and chicks with each parasite species are presented. The infestation of adult hosts was related to the host habitat. Chicks were always more heavily infested with Mallophaga than adults. Fluctuations, related to tho host biology, occurred in the mallophagan population on F. arctica. Details on the transfer of Mallophaga from adults-to-chicks are given. -- The distribution of each parasite species on the hosts was determined; the same mallophagan genus generally occupying the same habitat on the different host species. The tick distribution on hosts varied with the host species. -- The population dynamics of each mallophagan species on each alcid was examined. Due to increased reproductive activity, nymphs were more common on adults during the winter and were always dominant on chicks. The sex ratio of each species varied with the host, females being generally more common in winter and on chicks. Correlations were determined for the stages and sexes of each species population on hosts. -- An ischnoceran and an amblyceran occupied virtually the same habitat on the hosts with correlations always existing between them. No interspecific competition existed between the genera on each host. All stages and sexes of the total mallophagan population on hosts were correlated. -- Ixodes ariae preferred U. aalge as hosts. Their distribution in the colony was affected by the density of the hosts and the substrate. The seasonal activity of the tick in the hesting areas and on the hosts were similar. The engorgement time for each stage on various hosts was determined and their percentage increases in weight recorded. The pathological reaction bf the host's skin to tick attachment is described. Observations were made on reproduction and measurements made of a spermatophore. The oviposition rate and the development of each stage under different temperatures and humidity regimes was determined. The life-cycle, based on field and laboratory data, is presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7341
Item ID: 7341
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [169]-175.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 1974
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Alcidae--Newfoundland and Labrador; Birds--Parasites--Newfoundland and Labrador

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