Nest-dwelling Mites of Selected Common Bird Species in Sri Lanka
Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, Volume 6, Issue 3,
Bird nests primarily function to protect and incubate eggs and nestlings. However, nests are also host to a broad diversity and abundance of arthropod associates, primarily mites (Acari). Our knowledge of nest dwelling mites of common bird species in Sri Lanka is quite limited and necessitates further study. Five different types of nests of selected common bird species (18) in Sri Lanka in urban, suburban, wild, and captive populations were sampled opportunistically using a portable mini vacuum trap. ANOVA: single factor test was used to evaluate statistical significance at p<0.05. A total of 1493 mites were collected from 180 nests. The mites belonging to order Mesostigmata had the highest relative abundance (58.6%) and prevalence (74.4%) of all mite orders collected, followed by the Sarcoptiformes (41.1%, 72.8%), and Trombidiformes (0.3%, 2.2%). Mite diversity of host bird species was measured using the Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H’). Pycnonotus cafer nests had the highest diversity of mites. Cup-shaped nests were host to the highest average abundance value (13.4) of mites, while cavity nests had the lowest value (5.7). Nests from captive populations had the highest average abundance (24.6) of mites and the nests of suburban populations had the lowest value (7.2). These findings can be used as a baseline data set for further detailed research studies on nest-dwelling mites of birds, focusing on avifaunal conservation and the impact on human health by nest-dwelling ectoparasites, built-in human habitations in Sri Lanka.
- Nest-dwelling mites
- bird nests
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