An experimental test of the site specificity of preening to control lice in feral pigeons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Site specificities of ectoparasites on the host may have evolved due to the selective pressure exerted by host grooming. The present study demonstrates that the efficiency of avian preening varies among sites on the host. The study relies on the simple idea that the effectiveness of preening behavior to control lice can be quantified by the removal rate of dead lice glued onto the feathers of living birds. Two treatments were done to document site-specific differences in the efficiency of preening for louse control. The first treatment showed that lice disappear from the underwing covert feathers significantly more than from the tail feathers. A second treatment showed that preening was responsible for the differential removal of lice. There seems to be some correspondence in the site specificity of the louse species Columbicola columbae and that of the efficiency of preening by the host, which is the feral pigeon (Columba livia).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-970
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Volume79
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Fingerprint

louse control
Phthiraptera
preening
Grooming
louse
Columbidae
pigeons
lice
Feathers
feathers
testing
feather
Columbicola columbae
tail feather
Columba livia
grooming (animal behavior)
Species Specificity
grooming
ectoparasites
Behavior Control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

An experimental test of the site specificity of preening to control lice in feral pigeons. / Rózsa, L.

In: Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1993, p. 968-970.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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