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Population characteristics and the nature of egg shells of two Phthirapteran species parasitizing Indian cattle egrets

Population characteristics and the nature of egg shells of two Phthirapteran species parasitizing... The prevalence, intensities of infestation, range of infestation and population composition of two phthirapteran species, Ardeicola expallidus Blagoveshtchensky (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) and Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus Boisduval and Lacordaire (Menoponidae) on seventy cattle egrets were recorded during August 2004 to March 2005, in India. The frequency distribution patterns of both the species were skewed but did not correspond to the negative binomial model. The oviposition sites, egg laying patterns and the nature of the eggs of the two species were markedly different. Key Words: Amblycera, Ischnocera, Ardeicola expallidus, Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus a b , c Correspondence: draftab.lifescience@rediffmail.com khandst@rediffmail.com drsmita_badola@yahoo.com, d e f* gauravaryan18@gmail.com, nanci.rampur@rediffmail.com akscsir@rediffmail.com Received: 7 April 2009, Accepted: 1 September 2009 Copyright : This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed. ISSN: 1536-2442 | Vol. 10, Number 163 Cite this paper as: Ahmad A, Khan V, Badola S, Arya G, Bansal N, Saxena AK. 2010. Population characteristics and the nature of egg shells of two Phthirapteran species parasitizing Indian cattle egrets. Journal of Insect Science 10:163 available online: insectscience.org/10.163 Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 1 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Introduction were transferred to 70% alcohol and separated by species, stage and sex, for further analysis. Certain workers have indicated the population The data were used for recording the characteristics of Phthiraptera on selected prevalence, mean intensity, sample mean avian hosts. Saxena et al. (2007) and Gupta et abundance and variance to mean ratio of the al. (2007) have noted the prevalence, intensity louse population. The exponent (k) of the of infestation and the applicability of the negative binomial distribution and index of negative binomial model in the frequency discrepancy (D) were estimated with software distribution patterns of twelve phthirapteran developed by Rozsa et al. (2000). The species occurring on house sparrows, Indian goodness of fit between observed and parakeets, common mynas, white breasted expected frequencies (negative binomial) kingfishers and red avadavats, in the district were determined by the χ test. Birds heavily of Rampur Uttar Pradesh, India. Rekasi et al. infested with each species were critically (1997) noted the frequency distribution of 15 examined to record the number of eggs laid on species of avian lice and also reviewed 12 the feathers of different regions of the body. previously described distributions. Rozsa Certain egged feathers were gently cut to (1997) examined the ecological factors record the patterns of oviposition, under expected to determine the abundance of lice stereozoom trinocular microscope. A few eggs on birds. Reiezigel et al. (2005) recommended were teased out and examined by SEM using the determination of crowding indices to the methods described by Gupta et al.. (2009) analyze parasite populations. Results There are no reports on the population levels of Phthiraptera parasitizing cattle egrets. The One ischnoceran species, Ardeicola expallidus present report furnishes information on the (Blagoveshtchensky), (Phthiraptera: prevalence, intensities of infestation and the Philopteridae) and one amblyceran species, frequency distribution patterns of two Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus (Boisduval and phthirapterans infesting this bird. Lacordaire) (Menoponidae) were recorded Furthermore, information on the egg laying from seventy cattle egrets during survey work. sites, patterns of oviposition and egg morphology of both the species are also Population characteristics described. A. expallidus: A total of 633 specimens were collected from 12 infested birds (prevalence - Materials and Methods 17.2 %; sample mean abundance - 9.0; range of infestation, 14 - 120; mean intensity - 52.8). Seventy cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis L.) were Frequency distribution pattern was skewed trapped live during August 2004 - March (variance to mean ratio - 71.5) and the 2005, in the district of Rampur. After tying observed frequencies failed to correspond to the legs, each bird was critically examined the negative binomial distribution (χ = 64.7, (with the help of magnifying lens). Louse free P > 0.05; exponent of negative binomial 0.04; birds were immediately released and the D of poulin - 0.88). Females outnumbered the infested birds subjected to delousing using males in natural population (male, female "fair isle" method (Saxena et al. 2007). Lice ratio - 1:1.2) while nymphal population Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 2 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. dominated over the adults (adult, nymph ratio than 500 eggs were counted on a single - 1:1.2). The ratio of the nymphal population feather. (first, second and third nymphal instars) remained 1:0.7:0.5. Egg morphology The egg chorion of A. expallidus (length 0.9 – C. decimfasiatus: Total numbers collected 1.0 mm, width 0.17 - 0.19 mm) bears very from 29 infested hosts was 2993 (prevalence - prominent elongated hexagonal ridges (Plate 41.4 %; sample mean abundance - 42.8; range II, 1). Opercular disc of the egg also bears of infestation, 2 - 241 and mean intensity - similar (but faint) ridges. A thick rod like 103.2). Frequency distribution was hollow small polar thread arises from the lateral side curve type (variance to mean ratio - 126.9). of the operculum (Plate II, 3, 4). The stigma The negative binomial was not found to be a has a rosette-like (0.021 mm in diameter) in good fit (χ = 35.9, P > 0.05; exponent of appearance (Plate II, 5). The egg of C. negative binomial - 0.1; D of poulin - 0.76). decimfasciatus is ovoid in shape (0.6 -0.7 mm The sex ratio was female biased (male, female in length and 0.18-0.20 mm in width) (Plate ratio - 1:1.2). The nymphal population was II, 2). The egg chorion is smooth (i.e., devoid slightly greater than the adult population of sculpturing /ornamentation). The (adult, nymph ratio - 1:1.1). The ratio of the operculum is hat-shaped and lacks polar three nymphal instars was 1: 0.8:0.5 thread (Plate II, 6). The opercular disc bears hexagonal marks. Eleven to fifteen button Egg lying site and pattern shaped micropyles are lined along the The ischnoceran louse, A. expallidus showed opercular rim. The stigma has a beehive-like restricted oviposition sites on the host body appearance (0.033 mm in diameter). (73% wings, 12% tail, 9% abdomen, 3% breast, 2% nape and 1% neck). The eggs were Discussion laid inside the furrows, between the barbs and near the rachis (Plate I, 1). As many as seven Two phthirapteran species (A. expallidus and eggs have been found lined one behind the C. decimfasciatus) are known to occur on other in a single furrow. The egg was inclined cattle egrets (Price et al. 2003). The mean at 30-50 , with respect to the rachis. The intensity of C. decimfasciatus on Indian cattle maximum number of eggs encountered on a egrets was very high (103.2). This amblyceran single feather was 180. louse is haematophagous in nature and the crop of adults and nymphs were found full of The amblyceran louse, C. decimfasciatus host blood. The haematophagous lice can exhibited more or less widespread oviposition cause skin lesions that can be a probable site sites on the host body (45% breast, 31% of secondary infection, irritation, restlessness, abdomen, 9% back, 8% legs, 4% neck, 2% reduced egg production and weight loss in the nape and 1% tail). Eggs were laid on the infested hosts (Wall and Shearer 2001; Mullen lateral plumulaceous portion of the vane. This and Durden 2002). Furthermore, they may louse showed a tendency to lay fresh eggs also act as reservoir and transmitter of near the already laid eggs. Thus, eggs were pathogens responsible for infectious diseases laid in groups in somewhat "grape bunch" (Price and Graham 1997). pattern (Plate I, 2, 3). Eggs were inclined at 25-40 and were glued at the rear end. More Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 3 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. The prevalence of two lice on cattle egrets by Saxena et al. (2007) and Gupta et al. was not as high (17.2 - 41.4 %) in comparison (2007). In the present case the frequency to that of other species (12.5 - 97.5 %) distribution of both the species was (Saxena et al. 2007; Rekasi 1997; Rozsa et al. aggregated but failed to correspond to the 1997). However, the mean intensity appeared negative binomial model. However, the to be high (52.8, A. expallidus and 103.2, C. significance of the frequency distribution lies decimfasciatus) in comparison to other species not in the statistical patterns itself, but in the (0.26 – 37.7) examined by the above underlining ecological factors that are mentioned workers. responsible for the generation of non-random distribution of parasite (Randolph 1975). Out of the 27 cases analyzed by Rekasi et al. Workers like Crofton (1971) and Randolph (1997) the frequency distribution of 19 (1975) have postulated a series of situations species conformed to the negative binomial which might give rise to the contagious model. The negative binomial was found to be distribution of parasites (i.e. non-random a good fit in only one case (out of 12 species) distribution of host, resistance to infestation Plate I 1. Feather bearing eggs of Ardeicola expallidus 2. Feather bearing eggs of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus 3. Enlarged view of 2. Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 4 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Plate II 1. SEM of the eggshell of Ardeicola expallidus 2. SEM of the eggshell of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus 3. Enlarged view of the opercular end of Ardeicola expallidus showing rod-like polar thread 4. Another enlarged view of the opercular disc of Ardeicola expallidus 5. Enlarged view of rear end of the eggshell of Ardeicola expallidus showing the nature of stigma 6. Enlarged view of the opercular end of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus. Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 5 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. by previously infested hosts, seasonal morphology could be used as a guide to louse variation in infestation level of parasites and taxonomy. Kumar et al. (2004) noted the non-random differences in behavior and eggshell markings of 3 species of Lipeurus physiology such as breeding success and differed (L. heterographus has distinct moult etc.) that are related to population. It is hexagonal ridges; L. lawrensis tropicalis has a difficult to postulate the factor that might chorion pitted with faint hexagonal ridges; L. account for the observed distribution of caponis has granular protuberances). Gupta et parasites on cattle egrets. Since avian lice al. (2007) showed that the egg shell of exhibit seasonal variation in population levels, selected species of Menacanthus differed in the population of nymphs may vary from to number, location and nature of apophyses. time. Apart from seasons, many other factors Likewise, the eggshells of selected species of can affect the population structure (Marshall Brueelia differ in the presence of polar thread 1981). as well as the number and disposition of micropyles. However, the eggshells of other The nymph population had a slight edge over species of Ardeicola and Ciconiphilus have the adult population in the case of 9 species not yet been studied to provide the (out of 10) examined by Saxena et al. (2007) comparison. while adults dominated over nymphal population in the case of 2 species studied by Acknowledgements Gupta et al. (2007). In the present case, the proportion of nymphs remained slightly We thank two anonymous reviewers for higher than adults (sign of expanding fruitful comments on an earlier draft of the population). paper; the Principal, Govt. Raza P. G. College, Rampur, India for laboratory In the case of both the cattle egret lice, the sex facilities, Prof. E. Mey (Naturhistorisches ratios were female biased, as expected. In all Museum in Thuringer Landesmuseum of the 12 species examined by Saxena et al. Heidecksburg, schlobbezirk 1, D-07407 (2007) and Gupta et al. (2007), the male, Rudolstadt Bundesrepublik, Germany) for the female ratio remained 1:1.1 to 1:1.65. identification of lice, the Department of Sampling bias (due to small size of males) and Science Technology, India for providing unequal longevity of the two sexes have been financial support to Dr. A. K. Saxena, in form considered responsible for sex ratio biases of project no. SP/ SO/ AS-30/ 2002. (Marshall 1981). Furthermore, the avian lice exhibit considerable diversity with respect to References the pattern of egg laying on body feathers (Marshall 1981). The same has been found to Balter RS. 1968 a. Lice egg morphology as a be true in the case of the two avian lice guide to louse taxonomy. Medical Biology infesting cattle egrets. Illustrated 18(2): 95-96. The avian lice exhibit certain distinctive Balter RS. 1968 b. The microtopography of features (on or within chorionic shell) in the avian lice eggs. Medical Biology Illustrated form of markings/ sculpturings/ 18(3): 166-179. ornamentation/ projections on the eggshell. Balter (1968 a and b) remarked that louse egg Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 6 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Crofton HD. 1971. A quantitative approach to Amblycera, Ischnocera). Journal of Avian parasitism. Parasitology 62: 179-193. Biology 28: 150-156. Gupta N, Kumar S, Saxena AK. 2007. Rozsa L. 1997. Patterns in the abundance of Prevalence and population structure of lice avian lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, (Phthiraptera) on the Indian Red Avadavat. Ischnocera). Journal of Avian Biology 28: Zoological Science 24: 381-383. 249-254. Gupta N, Khan V, Kumar S, Saxena S, Rozsa L, Reiczigel J, Majoros G. 2000. Rashmi A, Saxena AK. 2009. Eggshell Quantifying parasites in sample of hosts. morphology of selected bird lice species Journal of Parasitology 86: 228-232. (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera). Entomological News 120(3): 327-336. Saxena AK, Kumar S, Gupta N, Mitra JD, Ali SA, Srivastava R. 2007. Distribution pattern Marshall AG. 1981. The ecology of of phthirapterans infesting certain common ectoparasitic insects. Academic Press. Indian birds. Journal of Parasitology 93: 957- Mullen GR, Durden LA. 2002. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Academic Press. Wall R, Shearer D. 2001. Veterinary ectoparasites: Biology. In: Pathology and nd Price MA, Graham OH. 1997. Chewing and Control, 2 Ed. Blackwell Science. sucking lice as parasites of mammals and birds. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin No. 1849. Price RD, Hellenthal, RA, Palma RL, Johnson KP, Clayton DH. 2003. The chewing lice: World checklist and biological overview. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 24. Randolph SE. 1975. Seasonal dynamics of a host parasite system: Ixodes trianguliceps (Acarina : Ixodidae) and its small mammal hosts. Journal of Animal Ecology 44: 451- Reiczigel J, Lang Z, Rozsa L, Tothmeresz B. 2005. Properties of crowding and statistical tools to analyze parasite-crowding data. Journal of Parasitology 91:245-252. Rekasi J, Rozsa L, Kiss BJ. 1997. Patterns in the distribution of avian lice (Phthiraptera: Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 7 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Insect Science Oxford University Press

Population characteristics and the nature of egg shells of two Phthirapteran species parasitizing Indian cattle egrets

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Oxford University Press
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© Published by Oxford University Press.
eISSN
1536-2442
DOI
10.1673/031.010.14123
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21067416
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Abstract

The prevalence, intensities of infestation, range of infestation and population composition of two phthirapteran species, Ardeicola expallidus Blagoveshtchensky (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) and Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus Boisduval and Lacordaire (Menoponidae) on seventy cattle egrets were recorded during August 2004 to March 2005, in India. The frequency distribution patterns of both the species were skewed but did not correspond to the negative binomial model. The oviposition sites, egg laying patterns and the nature of the eggs of the two species were markedly different. Key Words: Amblycera, Ischnocera, Ardeicola expallidus, Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus a b , c Correspondence: draftab.lifescience@rediffmail.com khandst@rediffmail.com drsmita_badola@yahoo.com, d e f* gauravaryan18@gmail.com, nanci.rampur@rediffmail.com akscsir@rediffmail.com Received: 7 April 2009, Accepted: 1 September 2009 Copyright : This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed. ISSN: 1536-2442 | Vol. 10, Number 163 Cite this paper as: Ahmad A, Khan V, Badola S, Arya G, Bansal N, Saxena AK. 2010. Population characteristics and the nature of egg shells of two Phthirapteran species parasitizing Indian cattle egrets. Journal of Insect Science 10:163 available online: insectscience.org/10.163 Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 1 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Introduction were transferred to 70% alcohol and separated by species, stage and sex, for further analysis. Certain workers have indicated the population The data were used for recording the characteristics of Phthiraptera on selected prevalence, mean intensity, sample mean avian hosts. Saxena et al. (2007) and Gupta et abundance and variance to mean ratio of the al. (2007) have noted the prevalence, intensity louse population. The exponent (k) of the of infestation and the applicability of the negative binomial distribution and index of negative binomial model in the frequency discrepancy (D) were estimated with software distribution patterns of twelve phthirapteran developed by Rozsa et al. (2000). The species occurring on house sparrows, Indian goodness of fit between observed and parakeets, common mynas, white breasted expected frequencies (negative binomial) kingfishers and red avadavats, in the district were determined by the χ test. Birds heavily of Rampur Uttar Pradesh, India. Rekasi et al. infested with each species were critically (1997) noted the frequency distribution of 15 examined to record the number of eggs laid on species of avian lice and also reviewed 12 the feathers of different regions of the body. previously described distributions. Rozsa Certain egged feathers were gently cut to (1997) examined the ecological factors record the patterns of oviposition, under expected to determine the abundance of lice stereozoom trinocular microscope. A few eggs on birds. Reiezigel et al. (2005) recommended were teased out and examined by SEM using the determination of crowding indices to the methods described by Gupta et al.. (2009) analyze parasite populations. Results There are no reports on the population levels of Phthiraptera parasitizing cattle egrets. The One ischnoceran species, Ardeicola expallidus present report furnishes information on the (Blagoveshtchensky), (Phthiraptera: prevalence, intensities of infestation and the Philopteridae) and one amblyceran species, frequency distribution patterns of two Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus (Boisduval and phthirapterans infesting this bird. Lacordaire) (Menoponidae) were recorded Furthermore, information on the egg laying from seventy cattle egrets during survey work. sites, patterns of oviposition and egg morphology of both the species are also Population characteristics described. A. expallidus: A total of 633 specimens were collected from 12 infested birds (prevalence - Materials and Methods 17.2 %; sample mean abundance - 9.0; range of infestation, 14 - 120; mean intensity - 52.8). Seventy cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis L.) were Frequency distribution pattern was skewed trapped live during August 2004 - March (variance to mean ratio - 71.5) and the 2005, in the district of Rampur. After tying observed frequencies failed to correspond to the legs, each bird was critically examined the negative binomial distribution (χ = 64.7, (with the help of magnifying lens). Louse free P > 0.05; exponent of negative binomial 0.04; birds were immediately released and the D of poulin - 0.88). Females outnumbered the infested birds subjected to delousing using males in natural population (male, female "fair isle" method (Saxena et al. 2007). Lice ratio - 1:1.2) while nymphal population Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 2 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. dominated over the adults (adult, nymph ratio than 500 eggs were counted on a single - 1:1.2). The ratio of the nymphal population feather. (first, second and third nymphal instars) remained 1:0.7:0.5. Egg morphology The egg chorion of A. expallidus (length 0.9 – C. decimfasiatus: Total numbers collected 1.0 mm, width 0.17 - 0.19 mm) bears very from 29 infested hosts was 2993 (prevalence - prominent elongated hexagonal ridges (Plate 41.4 %; sample mean abundance - 42.8; range II, 1). Opercular disc of the egg also bears of infestation, 2 - 241 and mean intensity - similar (but faint) ridges. A thick rod like 103.2). Frequency distribution was hollow small polar thread arises from the lateral side curve type (variance to mean ratio - 126.9). of the operculum (Plate II, 3, 4). The stigma The negative binomial was not found to be a has a rosette-like (0.021 mm in diameter) in good fit (χ = 35.9, P > 0.05; exponent of appearance (Plate II, 5). The egg of C. negative binomial - 0.1; D of poulin - 0.76). decimfasciatus is ovoid in shape (0.6 -0.7 mm The sex ratio was female biased (male, female in length and 0.18-0.20 mm in width) (Plate ratio - 1:1.2). The nymphal population was II, 2). The egg chorion is smooth (i.e., devoid slightly greater than the adult population of sculpturing /ornamentation). The (adult, nymph ratio - 1:1.1). The ratio of the operculum is hat-shaped and lacks polar three nymphal instars was 1: 0.8:0.5 thread (Plate II, 6). The opercular disc bears hexagonal marks. Eleven to fifteen button Egg lying site and pattern shaped micropyles are lined along the The ischnoceran louse, A. expallidus showed opercular rim. The stigma has a beehive-like restricted oviposition sites on the host body appearance (0.033 mm in diameter). (73% wings, 12% tail, 9% abdomen, 3% breast, 2% nape and 1% neck). The eggs were Discussion laid inside the furrows, between the barbs and near the rachis (Plate I, 1). As many as seven Two phthirapteran species (A. expallidus and eggs have been found lined one behind the C. decimfasciatus) are known to occur on other in a single furrow. The egg was inclined cattle egrets (Price et al. 2003). The mean at 30-50 , with respect to the rachis. The intensity of C. decimfasciatus on Indian cattle maximum number of eggs encountered on a egrets was very high (103.2). This amblyceran single feather was 180. louse is haematophagous in nature and the crop of adults and nymphs were found full of The amblyceran louse, C. decimfasciatus host blood. The haematophagous lice can exhibited more or less widespread oviposition cause skin lesions that can be a probable site sites on the host body (45% breast, 31% of secondary infection, irritation, restlessness, abdomen, 9% back, 8% legs, 4% neck, 2% reduced egg production and weight loss in the nape and 1% tail). Eggs were laid on the infested hosts (Wall and Shearer 2001; Mullen lateral plumulaceous portion of the vane. This and Durden 2002). Furthermore, they may louse showed a tendency to lay fresh eggs also act as reservoir and transmitter of near the already laid eggs. Thus, eggs were pathogens responsible for infectious diseases laid in groups in somewhat "grape bunch" (Price and Graham 1997). pattern (Plate I, 2, 3). Eggs were inclined at 25-40 and were glued at the rear end. More Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 3 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. The prevalence of two lice on cattle egrets by Saxena et al. (2007) and Gupta et al. was not as high (17.2 - 41.4 %) in comparison (2007). In the present case the frequency to that of other species (12.5 - 97.5 %) distribution of both the species was (Saxena et al. 2007; Rekasi 1997; Rozsa et al. aggregated but failed to correspond to the 1997). However, the mean intensity appeared negative binomial model. However, the to be high (52.8, A. expallidus and 103.2, C. significance of the frequency distribution lies decimfasciatus) in comparison to other species not in the statistical patterns itself, but in the (0.26 – 37.7) examined by the above underlining ecological factors that are mentioned workers. responsible for the generation of non-random distribution of parasite (Randolph 1975). Out of the 27 cases analyzed by Rekasi et al. Workers like Crofton (1971) and Randolph (1997) the frequency distribution of 19 (1975) have postulated a series of situations species conformed to the negative binomial which might give rise to the contagious model. The negative binomial was found to be distribution of parasites (i.e. non-random a good fit in only one case (out of 12 species) distribution of host, resistance to infestation Plate I 1. Feather bearing eggs of Ardeicola expallidus 2. Feather bearing eggs of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus 3. Enlarged view of 2. Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 4 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Plate II 1. SEM of the eggshell of Ardeicola expallidus 2. SEM of the eggshell of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus 3. Enlarged view of the opercular end of Ardeicola expallidus showing rod-like polar thread 4. Another enlarged view of the opercular disc of Ardeicola expallidus 5. Enlarged view of rear end of the eggshell of Ardeicola expallidus showing the nature of stigma 6. Enlarged view of the opercular end of Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus. Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 5 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. by previously infested hosts, seasonal morphology could be used as a guide to louse variation in infestation level of parasites and taxonomy. Kumar et al. (2004) noted the non-random differences in behavior and eggshell markings of 3 species of Lipeurus physiology such as breeding success and differed (L. heterographus has distinct moult etc.) that are related to population. It is hexagonal ridges; L. lawrensis tropicalis has a difficult to postulate the factor that might chorion pitted with faint hexagonal ridges; L. account for the observed distribution of caponis has granular protuberances). Gupta et parasites on cattle egrets. Since avian lice al. (2007) showed that the egg shell of exhibit seasonal variation in population levels, selected species of Menacanthus differed in the population of nymphs may vary from to number, location and nature of apophyses. time. Apart from seasons, many other factors Likewise, the eggshells of selected species of can affect the population structure (Marshall Brueelia differ in the presence of polar thread 1981). as well as the number and disposition of micropyles. However, the eggshells of other The nymph population had a slight edge over species of Ardeicola and Ciconiphilus have the adult population in the case of 9 species not yet been studied to provide the (out of 10) examined by Saxena et al. (2007) comparison. while adults dominated over nymphal population in the case of 2 species studied by Acknowledgements Gupta et al. (2007). In the present case, the proportion of nymphs remained slightly We thank two anonymous reviewers for higher than adults (sign of expanding fruitful comments on an earlier draft of the population). paper; the Principal, Govt. Raza P. G. College, Rampur, India for laboratory In the case of both the cattle egret lice, the sex facilities, Prof. E. Mey (Naturhistorisches ratios were female biased, as expected. In all Museum in Thuringer Landesmuseum of the 12 species examined by Saxena et al. Heidecksburg, schlobbezirk 1, D-07407 (2007) and Gupta et al. (2007), the male, Rudolstadt Bundesrepublik, Germany) for the female ratio remained 1:1.1 to 1:1.65. identification of lice, the Department of Sampling bias (due to small size of males) and Science Technology, India for providing unequal longevity of the two sexes have been financial support to Dr. A. K. Saxena, in form considered responsible for sex ratio biases of project no. SP/ SO/ AS-30/ 2002. (Marshall 1981). Furthermore, the avian lice exhibit considerable diversity with respect to References the pattern of egg laying on body feathers (Marshall 1981). The same has been found to Balter RS. 1968 a. Lice egg morphology as a be true in the case of the two avian lice guide to louse taxonomy. Medical Biology infesting cattle egrets. Illustrated 18(2): 95-96. The avian lice exhibit certain distinctive Balter RS. 1968 b. The microtopography of features (on or within chorionic shell) in the avian lice eggs. Medical Biology Illustrated form of markings/ sculpturings/ 18(3): 166-179. ornamentation/ projections on the eggshell. Balter (1968 a and b) remarked that louse egg Journal of Insect Science | www.insectscience.org 6 Journal of Insect Science: Vol. 10 | Article 163 Ahmad et al. Crofton HD. 1971. A quantitative approach to Amblycera, Ischnocera). Journal of Avian parasitism. Parasitology 62: 179-193. Biology 28: 150-156. Gupta N, Kumar S, Saxena AK. 2007. Rozsa L. 1997. Patterns in the abundance of Prevalence and population structure of lice avian lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, (Phthiraptera) on the Indian Red Avadavat. Ischnocera). Journal of Avian Biology 28: Zoological Science 24: 381-383. 249-254. Gupta N, Khan V, Kumar S, Saxena S, Rozsa L, Reiczigel J, Majoros G. 2000. Rashmi A, Saxena AK. 2009. Eggshell Quantifying parasites in sample of hosts. morphology of selected bird lice species Journal of Parasitology 86: 228-232. (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera). Entomological News 120(3): 327-336. Saxena AK, Kumar S, Gupta N, Mitra JD, Ali SA, Srivastava R. 2007. Distribution pattern Marshall AG. 1981. The ecology of of phthirapterans infesting certain common ectoparasitic insects. Academic Press. Indian birds. Journal of Parasitology 93: 957- Mullen GR, Durden LA. 2002. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Academic Press. Wall R, Shearer D. 2001. Veterinary ectoparasites: Biology. In: Pathology and nd Price MA, Graham OH. 1997. 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Published: Sep 27, 2010

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