Macroparasites of introduced parakeets in Italy: a possible role for parasite-mediated competition
- 222 Downloads
Alien species are considered a cause of biodiversity loss throughout the world. An important but often overlooked form of competition with native species is the parasite-mediated one. Introduced species may bring their own parasites from their native ranges (spillover) or get native parasites from native species, thus increasing the parasites’ spread and transmission risk (spillback). Thus, a complete knowledge of parasites hosted by introduced species is important to assess and to possibly prevent impacts. Ring-necked and monk parakeets have been introduced in many European countries, where they established a number of alien reproductive populations. We sampled 21 ring-necked parakeets and 7 monk parakeets from Italy and identified 35 arthropod ectoparasites belonging to five species. Amongst those, one species was native to India (Neopsittaconirmus lybartota), where alien populations of ring-necked parakeet may have been originated, and one species from South America (Paragoniocotes fulvofasciatus), which is typically found of the monk parakeet in its native range. The other three species of arthropod parasites were native to Italy and commonly found on native species, suggesting the possibility of spillback processes.
KeywordsAlien species Monk parakeet Ring-necked parakeet Ectoparasites Spillover Spillback
We thank S. Martone and M. Scalzo for the parasite collection respectively in Pavia and Follonica, as well as Francesca Manzia and the staff of LIPU’s wildlife rescue centre of Rome for helping in parasite collection in Rome. Fabio Mazzetto and Enrico Busato (University of Turin) kindly took pictures to some parasites. We acknowledge the support provided by European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Action ES1304 (ParrotNet) for the realisation of this paper. The contents of this paper are the authors’ responsibility and neither COST nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the information contained in it. An anonymous reviewer kindly improved the first draft of this manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Aramburù R, Calvo S, Alzugaray ME, Cicchino A (2003) Ectoparasitic load of monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus, Psittacidae) nestlings. Ornitol Neotrop 14:415–418Google Scholar
- Balbo T, Rossi L, Meneguz PG (1988) Integrated control of Fascioloides magna infection in northern Italy. Parassitologia 31:137–144Google Scholar
- Beaucournu JC, Launay H (1990) Les puces de France et du bassin Méditerranéen occidental. Faune Fr :76. Federation FranÇaise des Sociètès de Sciences Naturelles (Eds.), Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
- Clay T (1976) Geographical distribution of the avian lice (Phthiraptera): a review. J Bombay Nat Hist Soc 71:536–547Google Scholar
- Khouri C, Maroli M (2004) La zecca del piccione Argas reflexus (Acari: Argasidae) ed i rischi per la salute umana. Ann Ist Super Sanita 40:427–432Google Scholar
- Menchetti M, Scalera R, Mori E (2014) First record of a possibly overlooked impact by alien parrots on a bat (Nyctalus leisleri). Hystrix, Ital J Mammal 25:61–62Google Scholar
- Mori E, Ancillotto L, Menchetti M, Romeo C, Ferrari N (2013b) Italian red squirrels and introduced parakeets: victims or perpetrators? Hystrix, Ital J Mammal 24:195–196Google Scholar
- Palma RL (1973) Sobre algunos Mallophaga de Aves de la Republica Argentina Insecta. Physis B Aires 3285:483–498Google Scholar
- Picaglia L (1885) Pediculini nuovi del Museo di Zoologia ed Anatomia Comparata della R. Università di Modena. Atti Soc Ital Sci Nat 28:82–90Google Scholar
- Price RD, Hellenthal RA, Palma RL (2003) World checklist of chewing lice with host associations and keys to families and genera. In: Price RD, Hellenthal RA, Palma RL, Johnson KP, Clayton DH (Eds) The Chewing Lice: World Checklist and Biological Overview. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA: p 1–448Google Scholar
- Scalera R (2001) Il parrocchetto dal collare Psittacula kramer. In: Scalera R (ed) Invasioni biologiche. Le introduzioni di vertebrati in Italia: un problema tra conservazione e globalizzazione. Corpo Forestale dello Stato e Ministero delle Politiche Agricole e Forestali, Rome, pp 195–199Google Scholar
- Smit FGAM (1966) Tarsopsylla Wagner, 1927. In: Smit FGAM (ed) Siphonaptera. Insecta Helvetica Catalogum. Imprimerie La Concorde Lausanne, Lausanne, pp 56–57Google Scholar
- Smit FGAM (1983) Key to the genera and subgenera of Ceratophyllidae. In: Traub R, Rothschild M, Haddow J (eds) The Rothschild collection of fleas: the Ceratophyllidae: key to the genera and host relationships: with notes on evolution, zoogeography and medical importance. Cambridge University Press/Academic Press, Cambridge, pp 1–36Google Scholar
- Whitaker AP (2007) Handbooks for the identification of British Insects, Vol. 1, Part 1b, 2nd edn. Field Studies Council Shrewsbury, Royal Entomological Society of London (Eds.), London, UKGoogle Scholar