Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

Comparative effects of mites and lice on the reproductive success of rock doves (Columba livia)

  • D. H. Clayton (a1) and D. M. Tompkins (a1)
Summary

We report experimental data comparing the effects of Mesostigmatid mites and Ischnoceran lice on the reproductive performance of a single group of captive rock doves (Columba livia). Several components of host reproductive success were compared for the two groups, including number of eggs laid, hatching success, nestling growth rates, fledging success, post-fledging body mass and survival. Adult body mass and survival were also compared. There was a dramatic difference in the effects of the mites and lice. The former drove host reproductive success to zero, mainly by agitating adults and causing them to incubate eggs less faithfully. Nestling growth rates and post-fledging survival were also significantly reduced by mites. Lice showed no effect on reproductive success whatsoever, even though the feather damage they cause is known to have energetic consequences (Booth, Clayton & Block, 1993). Neither parasite had a significant effect on adult birds. Although Ischnocera are found on most species of birds, our results for lice constitute the first experimental test of the impact of Ischnocera on avian reproductive success (preliminary report by Clayton & Tompkins, 1994). We discuss reasons for the different effects of mites and lice, including the relationship of horizontal (mites) and vertical (lice) transmission to the evolution of virulence.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Anderson, R. M. & Gordon, D. M. (1982). Processes influencing the distribution of parasite numbers within host populations with special emphasis on parasite-induced host mortalities. Parasitology 85, 373–98.
Anderson, R. M. & May, R. M. (1982). Coevolution of hosts and parasites. Parasitology 85, 411–26.
Ateyo, W. T. & Gaud, J. (1979). Feather mites and their hosts. In Recent Advances in Acarology (ed. Rodriquez, J. G.), pp. 355361. New York: Academic Press.
Bartlett, C. M. (1993). Lice (Amblycera and Ischnocera) as vectors of Eulimdana spp. (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in Charadriiform birds and the necessity of short reproductive periods in adult worms. Journal of Parasitology 79, 8591.
Benbrook, E. A. (1965). External parasites of poultry. In Diseases of Poultry (ed. Biester, H. E. & Schwarte, L. H.), pp. 925964. Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
Bliss, C. I. (1953). Fitting the negative binomial distribution to biological data. Biometrics 9, 176200.
Booth, D. T., Clayton, D. H. & Block, B. A. (1993). Experimental demonstration of the energetic cost of parasitism in free-ranging hosts. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 253, 125–9.
Brown, C. R. & Brown, M. B. (1986). Ectoparasites as a cost of coloniality in cliff swallows (Hirundo pyrrhonota). Ecology 67, 1206–18.
Clark, L. (1991). The nest protection hypothesis: the adaptive use of plant secondary compounds by European starlings. In Bird–Parasite Interactions: Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour (ed. Loye, J. E. & Zuk, M.), pp. 205221. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clayton, D. H. (1989). Coevolutionary ecology of the rock dove, Columba livia, and its chewing lice (Mallophaga: Ischnocera). Ph.D. thesis, University of Chicago.
Clayton, D. H. (1990). Mate choice in experimentally parasitized rock doves: lousy males lose. American Zoologist 30, 251–62.
Clayton, D. H. (1991). Coevolution of avian grooming and ectoparasite avoidance. In Bird–Parasite Interactions: Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour (ed. Loye, J. E. & Zuk, M.), pp. 258289. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clayton, D. H., Gregory, R. D. & Price, R. D. (1992). Comparative ecology of Neotropical bird lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera). Journal of Animal Ecology 61, 781–95.
Clayton, D. H. & Tompkins, D. M. (1994). Ectoparasite virulence is linked to mode of transmission. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 256, 211–17.
Derylo, A. (1974 a). Studies on the economic harmfulness of Mallophaga. I. The influence of invasion of lice on the state of health in hens and turkeys (in Polish). Medycyna Weterynaryjna 30, 353–7.
Derylo, A. (1974 b). Studies on the economic harmfulness of Mallophaga. II. Influence of lice infestation on egg laying and hatching of hens (in Polish). Medycyna Weterynaryjna 30, 406–10.
Devaney, J. A. (1976). Effects of the chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus, on caged layers. Poultry Science 55, 430–5.
Droge, D. L. (1986). Parent–offspring conflict and the allocation of parental investment in the feral pigeon, Columba livia. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Duffy, D. C. (1983). The ecology of tick parasitism on densely nesting Peruvian seabirds. Ecology 64, 110–19.
Eichler, W., Zlotorczyka, J., Ludwig, H. W. & Stenram, H. I. (1972). The pigeon louse Columbicola columbae columbae (German translation). Angewandte Parasitologie 13, 118.
Emlen, J. T. (1986). Responses of breeding cliff swallows to nidicolous parasite infestations. The Condor 88 110–11.
Ewald, P. W. (1983). Host–parasite relations, vectors, and the evolution of disease severity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 14, 465–85.
Grundy, J. H. (1981). Arthropods of Medical Importance. Chilbolton, Hampshire: Noble Books Ltd.
Hurlbert, S. H. (1984). Pseudoreplication and the design of ecological field experiments. Ecological Monographs 54, 187211.
Jackson, J. A. (1985). On the control of parasites in nest boxes and the use of pesticides near birds. Sialia 7, 1725.
Johnston, R. F. (1992). Rock dove. In The Birds of North America (ed. Poole, A., Stettenheim, P. & Gill, F.). Washington: The American Ornithologists' Union.
Kirkwood, A. C. (1967). Anaemia in poultry infested with the Red Mite Dermanyssus gallinae. Veterinary Record 80, 514–15.
Lehmann, T. (1991). Ectoparasitic impacts on Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi under natural conditions. Parasitology 104, 479–88.
Lehmann, T. (1993). Ectoparasites: direct impact on host fitness. Parasitology Today 9, 813.
Levi, W. M. (1957). The Pigeon. Columbia, S.C.: R. L. Bryan Co.
Margolis, L., Esch, G. W., Holmes, J. C., Kuris, K. M. & Schad, G. A. (1982). The use of ecological terms in parasitology. Journal of Parasitology 68, 131–3.
Marshall, A. G. (1981). The Ecology of Ectoparasitic Insects. London: Academic Press.
Matthysse, G., Jones, C. J. & Purnasiri, A. (1974). Development of northern fowl mite populations on chickens, effects on the host, and immunology. Search Agriculture 4.
Moss, W. W. (1978). The mite genus Dermanyssus: a survey, with description of Dermanyssus trochilinis, n.sp., and a revised key to the species (Acari: Mesostigmata: Dermanyssidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 14, 627–40.
Moss, W. W. & Camin, J. H. (1970). Nest parasitism, productivity, and clutch size in Purple Martins. Science 168, 1000–3.
Nelson, B. C. & Murray, M. D. (1971). The distribution of Mallophaga on the domestic pigeon (Columba livia). International Journal for Parasitology 1, 21–9.
Sikes, R. K. & Chamberlain, R. W. (1954). Laboratory observations on three species of bird mites. Journal of Parasitology 40, 691–7.
Strandtmann, R. W. & Wharton, G. W. (1958). A Manual of Mesostigmatid Mites Parasitic on Vertebrates. Institute of Acarology, University of Maryland.
Waage, J. K. (1979). The evolution of insect/vertebrate associations. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 12, 187224.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Parasitology
  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed