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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Bertran J, Macià FX, Margalida A (2016) How do colonial Eurasian griffon vultures prevent extra-pair mating? PeerJ 4:e1749. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1749

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Bloszyk J, Drazina T, Gwiazdowicz DJ, Halliday B, Goldyn B, Napierala A, Rybska E (2011) Mesostigmatic mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) in nest of Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Croatia. Biologia 66(2):335–339

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Borello WD, Borello RB (2002) The breeding status and colony dynamics of cape vulture Gyps coprotheres in Botswana. Bird Conserv Int 12:79–97

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Cantrell A, Lv L, Wang Y, Zhang Z, Li J (2013) Ectoparasites and other invertebrates in nests of the hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus). Chin Birds 4(4):314–318

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Caterino MS (2010) A review of California Margarinotus Marseul (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Histerinae: Histerini), with descriptions of two new species. Coleopts Bull 64(1):1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Dowling APG (2006) Mesostigmatid mites as parasites of small mammals: systematics, ecology, and the evolution of parasitic associations. In: Morand S, Krasnov BR, Poulin R (eds) Micromammals and macroparasites: from evolutionary ecology to management. Springer, Tokyo, pp 103–118

    Google Scholar 

  7. Drazina T, Spoljar M (2009) Insect fauna in nests of the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Croatia. Biologia 64(5):969–973

  8. Gouveia FBP, Barbosa MLL, Barrett TV (2012) Arthropods associated with nests of Cacicus sp. and Psarocolius sp. (Passerida: Icteridae) in varzea forest near the meeting of the rivers negro and Solimoes (Central Amazonia, Brazil) at high water. J Nat Hist 46(15–16):979–1003

  9. Green PWC, Turner BD (2005) Food-selection by the booklouse, Liposcelis bostrychophila Badonnel (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae). J Stored Prod Res 41:103–113

  10. Hicks EA (1959) Check-list and biography on the occurrence of insects in birds’ nests. The Iowa State College Press Ames, Iowa

  11. Houston CS, Terry B, Blom M, Stoffel MJ (2007) Turkey vulture nest success in abandoned houses in Saskatchewan. Wilson J Ornithol 119(4):742–747

  12. Howe RW (1959) Studies on beetles of the family Ptinidae. XVII. Conclusions and additional remarks. Bull Entomol Res 50:287–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hughes AM (1961) The mites of stored food and houses. Technical Bulletin 9. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London

  14. Jameson ML (2002) Trogidae MacLeay 1819, In: Arnett MCT, Skelley PE, Frank JH (eds) American beetles. Volume 2 R.H. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 17–19

  15. Judd WW (1962) Insects and other invertebrates from nests of the cardinal, Richmondena cardinalis (L.), at London, Ontario. Can Entomol 94(1):92–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Koford CB (1953) The Californian condor. Dovers Publications, New York, p 125

    Google Scholar 

  17. Kovarik PW, Caterino MS (2001) Histeridae. In: Arnett RH Jr, Thomas MC (eds) American Beetles. Volume 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 212–227

  18. Lindquist EE, Krantz GW, Walter DE (2009) Order Mesostigmata. In: Krantz GW, Walter DE (eds) A manual of acarology, 3rd edn. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, pp 124–232

    Google Scholar 

  19. Lynch WL (1986) Nesting and post-nesting behavior of the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) in Central Kentucky. M.S. Thesis. Eastern Kentucky University

  20. Majka CG, Klimaszewski J, Lauff R (2006) New Coleoptera records from owl nests in Nova Scotia, Canada. Zootaxa 1194:33–47

    Google Scholar 

  21. McAlpine JF (1987) Manual of Nearctic Diptera. Vol. 2. Coordinated by McAlpine JF, Peterson BV, Shewell GE, Teskey HJ, Vockeroth JR, Wood DM. Agriculture Canada Monograph 28

  22. Merkl O, Bagyura J, Rózsa L (2004) Insects inhabiting Saker (Falco cherrug) nests in Hungary. Ornis Hung 14:23–26

    Google Scholar 

  23. Nolan V (1955) Invertebrate nest associates of the prairie warbler. Auk 72(1):55–61

  24. Peck SB, Cook J (2002) Systematics, distributions, and bionomics of the small carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Cholevinae: Cholevini) of North America. Can Entomol 134:723–787

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Pilskog HE, Gwiazdowicz KJ, Coulson SJ (2014) Invertebrate communities inhabiting nests of migrating passerine, wild fowl and sea birds breeding in the high artic, Svalbard. Polar Biol 37(7):981–998. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-014-1495-9

  26. Rueda LM, Axtell RC (1997) Arthropods in litter of poultry (broiler chicken and turkey) houses. J Agric Entomol 14(1):81–91

  27. Schatz H, Behan-Pelletier V (2008) Global diversity of oribatids (Oribatida: Acari: Arachnida). Hydrobiologia 595:323–328.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-007-9027-z

  28. Seibold I, Helbig AJ (1995) Evolutionary history of new and Old World vultures inferred from nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Philos Trans R Soc London Series B 350:163–178

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Snyder NFR, Ramey RR, Sibley FC (1986) Nest-site biology of the California condor. Am Ornithol Soc 88:228–241

    Google Scholar 

  30. Stehr FW (1991) Immature insects, Vol 2. Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque

    Google Scholar 

  31. Triplehorn CA, Johnson NF (2005) Borror and DeLong's introduction to the study of insects. Thompson Brooks/Cole, Belmont

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William L. Lynch.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-019-00359-z

Download citation

Keywords

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