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Article

Restricted Geographic Sampling Yields Low Parasitism Rates but Surprisingly Diverse Host Associations in Avian Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from South Texas

1
Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA
2
East Foundation, 200 Concord Plaza Drive, Suite 410, San Antonio, TX 78216, USA
3
Ornithology Department, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Juan Carlos Illera
Diversity 2021, 13(9), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090430
Received: 16 August 2021 / Revised: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 2 September 2021 / Published: 7 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Parasites)
South Texas is a highly variable region encompassing multiple habitat types and harboring a wide diversity of organisms. However, the parasite fauna in this region is poorly known, especially for avian ectoparasites such as lice. To better understand avian louse diversity and host associations in South Texas, we examined a total of 507 birds for chewing lice. Lice were morphologically identified to genus and phylogenetic analysis was performed using one mitochondrial (COI) and two nuclear (18S rRNA and EF-1α) genes. Of the birds examined, 69 (13.5%) were parasitized by lice resulting in a total of 63 host associations across 45 bird species, 29 of which were previously unrecorded. The predominant taxa encountered during this study included two of the most diverse louse genera, Myrsidea and Brueelia. Molecular analyses revealed 21 distinct genetic lineages, 17 of which are associated with novel host associations and may represent new species. This study represents the first extensive examination of avian louse host associations and relationships in Texas and reveals that there is still much to be learned about ectoparasite diversity in the New World. View Full-Text
Keywords: avian lice; birds; chewing lice; ectoparasites; genetics; parasitism avian lice; birds; chewing lice; ectoparasites; genetics; parasitism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pistone, J.P.; Light, J.E.; Campbell, T.A.; Catanach, T.A.; Voelker, G. Restricted Geographic Sampling Yields Low Parasitism Rates but Surprisingly Diverse Host Associations in Avian Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from South Texas. Diversity 2021, 13, 430. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090430

AMA Style

Pistone JP, Light JE, Campbell TA, Catanach TA, Voelker G. Restricted Geographic Sampling Yields Low Parasitism Rates but Surprisingly Diverse Host Associations in Avian Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from South Texas. Diversity. 2021; 13(9):430. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090430

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pistone, John P., Jessica E. Light, Tyler A. Campbell, Therese A. Catanach, and Gary Voelker. 2021. "Restricted Geographic Sampling Yields Low Parasitism Rates but Surprisingly Diverse Host Associations in Avian Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from South Texas" Diversity 13, no. 9: 430. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090430

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