Arthropod fauna associated with black vulture and turkey vulture nests (Accipitriformes: Cathartidae) in south-Central Kentucky, USA


Arthropods were collected from seven black vulture and two turkey vulture nests in South-Central Kentucky. Species diversity in each nest ranged from a low of two to 10 species in total. Three nest cavities that had the highest amount of heterogeneous organic matter concomitantly had the highest number of arthropod taxa. Insects were the most abundant arthropods and included taxa from the orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Psocoptera. Diptera and Coleoptera were represented by the highest number of families (and species), with seven (ten spp.) and four (eight spp.), respectively. Discovered Acari included eight species in seven families, of which four were members of the Mesostigmata. A majority of the insects collected were either scavengers or accidentals and do not have a strong link with the nest habitat. But taxa associated with guano or feathers for food sources or those that are predacious on fly eggs or larvae appear to have a loose association with these vulture nests.

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Lynch, W.L., Philips, T.K. & Klompen, H. Arthropod fauna associated with black vulture and turkey vulture nests (Accipitriformes: Cathartidae) in south-Central Kentucky, USA. Biologia 75, 1135–1142 (2020).

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  • Arthropods
  • Fauna
  • Black vulture
  • Turkey vulture
  • Kentucky
  • Nests
  • Biodiversity