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The lice (Insecta : phthiraptera) of short-tailed shearwaters, ardenna tenuirostris, in Bass Strait, Tasmania

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Box, J and Meathrel, C (2011) The lice (Insecta : phthiraptera) of short-tailed shearwaters, ardenna tenuirostris, in Bass Strait, Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 145. pp. 35-37. ISSN 0080-4703

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Abstract

There is a paucity of research into the louse fauna of Shorttailed
Shearwaters, Ardenna tenuirostris (Temminck, 1835),
despite this species being one of the world's most studied
seabirds (Bradley et al. 1991 and references therein). Research
has been undertaken on these shearwaters at their breeding
grounds in Bass Strait, Tasmania, since 1947 (Bradley et al.
1991). As Short-tailed Shearwaters are long-lived, with an
estimated average longevity of 38 years (Skira et al. 1985),
they may offer a long-term host potential to host-dependent
ectoparasites (i.e., lice) (Crompton 1997). Also, with
approximately 23 million shearwaters breeding in burrows
in dense rookeries on the islands and headlands of southern
Australia, from southern New South Wales to Tasmania and
from Victoria to Western Australia (Marchant & Higgins
1990), there may be the potential for increased transmission
of ectoparasites between individual birds. Increased infestation
rates by lice have been shown in colonial living birds. For
instance, Rozsa et al. (1996) found an increase in louse
infestation on Colonial Rooks, Corvus frugilegus Linnaeus,
1758, as compared to the territorial Hooded Crow, Corvus
corone cornix Linnaeus, 1758.
Short-tailed Shearwaters undertake an annual transequatorial
migration to the Bering Sea for the austral
winter (Serventy 1967), and so may act as vectors for the
transmission of parasites across hemispheres (Lopez et al.
2005, Price et al. 2003).
There are three publications that list the lice of Shorttailed
Shearwaters. Green & Munday (1971) were the first
to document the ectoparasites of Tasmanian fauna, albeit
from personal communications- no published literature was
cited. Twenty years later, Green & Palma (1991) listed the
lice of Tasmania's vertebrates. They essentially used Green
& Munday's (1971) list of lice on shearwaters and added
Austromenopon paululum, listed as Austromenopon sp.
in Green & Munday (1971).
Price et al. (2003), in their checklist of the chewing lice
(Phthiraptera) of the world, also listed the lice of Short -tailed
Shearwaters. Included in this list were two louse species,
Naubates harrisoni (Bedford, 1930) and Ancistrona vagelli
(Fabricus, 1787), not mentioned in Green & Munday
(1971). As part of the long-term research into Bass Strait's
Short-tailed Shearwaters, this study aimed to confirm their
current louse fauna, detailing the specific location, and
collection method, to fill a gap in the primary literature.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemans Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 35-37
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2013 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 00:39
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