Effects of the parasitic flies of the genus Philornis (Diptera : Muscidae) on birds

Dudaniec, Rachael Y. and Kleindorfer, Sonia (2006) Effects of the parasitic flies of the genus Philornis (Diptera : Muscidae) on birds. Emu, 106 1: 13-20. doi:10.1071/MU04040

Author Dudaniec, Rachael Y.
Kleindorfer, Sonia
Title Effects of the parasitic flies of the genus Philornis (Diptera : Muscidae) on birds
Journal name Emu   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0158-4197
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MU04040
Volume 106
Issue 1
Start page 13
End page 20
Total pages 8
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Little is known about the genus Philornis (comprising ∼50 species), a group of muscid flies that parasitise birds and may be highly detrimental to host nestlings. Philornis species affect at least 115 species of bird, particularly in the Neotropics. The main distribution of Philornis is in Central and South America, extending to the southern United States. Larvae of the genus Philornis reside in bird nests and may feed on either nestling faeces (coprophagous scavengers), the blood of nestlings (semi-haematophagous parasites), or on nestling tissue and fluid (subcutaneous parasites). Depending on the species of Philornis, larval development can occur in bird faeces, in nesting material or inside nestlings. Nestling mortality depends on the species of Philornis, the intensity of infestation and nestling susceptibility, which in turn depends on the nestling species, age, brood size, body condition and the anatomical site of infestation. Consequently, variable effects of Philornis parasitism are observed in relation to nestling growth, development and fledging success. The impetus for this review is the recent discovery of Philornis downsi on the Galapagos Archipelago, combined with high Philornis-induced mortality in Darwin's finches. The potential for ectoparasites such as Philornis to compromise the viability of small, isolated bird populations is highlighted by this recently documented parasite invasion.
Keyword Pearly-Eyed Thrashers
Darwins Finches
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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