Imene Hamdoune, Noura Talmat-Chaouchi, Faiza Marniche

New records of ectoparasites from the Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus (Linnaeus, 1766) in Algeria

Abstract The Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus Linnaeus, 1766, is a migratory bird that winters along the entire Algerian coast and is considered a protected species. In this study, we report the first-ever collection and identification of ectoparasites from Black-headed Gulls in the province of Boumerdes, Algeria. From October and November of 2020 and 2021, a total of 45 live Black-headed Gulls were captured using modified Bal-chatri traps and examined for the presence of ectoparasites. The results revealed a total of 3537 ectoparasite specimens, 264 of which belonged to Phthiraptera and 3273 to Acari. Within Phthiraptera, two species from the suborder Ischnocera were identified: Saemundssonia lari Fabricius, 1780, with a prevalence of 62.22%, and Quadraceps punctatus Burmeister, 1838, with a prevalence of 93.33%. Additionally, one species from the suborder Amblycera, Actornithophilus piceus lari Packard, 1870, was found with a prevalence of 86.66% and the lowest mean intensity with the value of 0.90. As for Acari, Zachvatkinia larica Mironov, 1989, was the most common with a prevalence of 71.11% and the highest mean intensity value of 102.28. Notably, all the recorded parasite species found in the Black-headed Gull in this study are reported in Algeria and in North Africa for the first time. The Pearson’s correlation test indicated a significant difference in parasite infestation of the gull population (r = 0.716; p = 0.046).


Keywords Chroicocephalus ridibundus; Phthiraptera; Acari; migratory; Boumerdes; Algeria

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