Polar Biology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 292–294 | Cite as

Occurrence of the flea Glaciopsyllus antarcticus and avian lice in central Dronning Maud Land

  • W. K. Steele
  • R. L. C. Pilgrim
  • R. L. Palma


The flea Glaciopsyllus antarcticus is endemic to the Antarctic continent, where it is known to parasitise a number of seabird species. This paper reports the occurrence of the flea and two species of lice from snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea) colonies in central Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, and extends considerably the recorded distribution of the flea. Flea adults, pupae and larvae were recovered from 10 of 11 samples of organic material collected from snow petrel nests at Svarthamaren (71°53S, 05°10E) in the Mühlig-Hofmannfjella. Specimens of two philopterid lice species, Saemundssonia antarctica and Pseudonirmus charcoti, were recovered from three of these samples. Specimens of the Antarctic flea and of the louse S. antarctica were recovered from carcasses of snow petrel chicks collected both at Svarthamaren and Robertskollen (71°28S, 03°15W) in the northern Ahlmannryggen; the louse Pseudonirmus charcoti was recovered from Robertskollen only.


Organic Material Antarctic Continent Seabird Species Recorded Distribution Flea Adult 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. K. Steele
    • 1
  • R. L. C. Pilgrim
    • 2
  • R. L. Palma
    • 3
  1. 1.Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7700, South AfricaZA
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New ZealandNZ
  3. 3.Museum of New Zealand, PO Box 467, Wellington, New ZealandNZ

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