Population characteristics of black kite lice
A. K. Saxena
Received: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published online: 16 December 2016
Ó Indian Society for Parasitology 2016
Abstract A look on literature revealed that the population
characteristics of Phthiraptera infesting Black Kite, Milvus
migrans Boddaert deserved investigation. Thirty-two kites
were sampled in district Rampur (U.P.) India during Jan-
uary 2011–December 2012, for the presence of phthi-
rapteran ectoparasites. Two amblyceran species,
Laemobothrion maximum Scopoli and Colpocephalum
turbinatum Denny and one ischnoceran louse, Degeeriella
regalis Giebel were recovered. The prevalence, intensity of
infestation, sample mean abundance, range of infestation,
sex ratios, and adult nymph ratios of three lice were
recorded. C. turbinatum ranked ﬁrst in the order of preva-
lence and intensity of infestation, followed by D. regalis.
The prevalence and intensity of L. maximum was quite low.
Keywords Phthiraptera Á Biting lice Á Mallophaga Á
Black kite lice
Population of lice on particular host ranges from nil to
thousands per host. Generally, the prevalence and infesta-
tion rate together with the number of hosts examined,
provide a description of body population of lice on their
host (Marshall 1981). The parasite abundance and distri-
bution of parasite have received little attention despite
their, diversity and potential impacts on host population
and community dynamics (Santiago et al. 2008).
Reports on the population characteristics of phthi-
rapteran ectoparasites infesting selected Indian birds viz.
domestic pigeons (Singh et al. 1998; Khan et al. 2009),
Common Myna (Chandra et al. 1990; Saxena et al. 2007),
house Crows (Beg et al. 2008), Red Avadavats (Gupta et al.
2007), Bank Myna’s (Rajput et al. 2009), House Sparrows,
Indian Parakeets, White Breasted Kingﬁshers (Saxena et al.
2007), Domestic Fowls (Trivedi and Saxena 1991; Trivedi
et al. 1992; Saxena et al. 1995, 1997, 2004; Kumar et al.
2004), Red Whiskered Bulbuls (Arya et al. 2010), Com-
mon Bayas (Arya et al. 2011), Cattle Egrets (Ahmad et al.
2010), Common Hoopoe (Agarwal et al. 2011), Striated
Babblers (Ahmad et al. 2011), Common Snipe (Ahmad
et al. 2012), Indian grey Horn Bills (Ahmad et al. 2013),
Grey Lag Goose (Kumar et al. 2013), Ring Doves (Singh
et al. 2015) and certain other poultry (Khan et al. 2008)
have appeared during last twenty-ﬁve years. A scrutiny of
literature revealed that the population characteristics of
phthirapterans occurring on India Black Kites escaped the
attention. Elsewhere, information on the population ecol-
ogy of Galapagos Hawks (Buteo galapagoensis) have been
noted by the workers (Santiago et al. 2008; Whiteman and
Parker 2004a, b)
The present report furnishes information on the popu-
lation characteristics of three phthirapteran species infest-
ing India Black Kite, Milvus migrans.
Materials and methods
Thirty-two Black Kites, Milvus migrans were sampled
during January 2011–December 2012, in district Rampur
(India) located at 28°48
E 28.8.1979. Each bird
was examined visually (with the help of magnifying torch),
after tying the legs. The lousy hosts were deloused by the
& A. K. Saxena
Department of Zoology, Government Raza Postgraduate
College, Rampur, U.P. 244901, India
J Parasit Dis (July-Sept 2017) 41(3):684–686