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The chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera, Amblycera) of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Leitinger, Jan Phillip, Richter, Stefan
Parasitology international 2018 v.67 no.4 pp. 528-532
Menoponidae, Phalacrocorax carbo, Philopteridae, abdomen, adults, birds, body size, confocal laser scanning microscopy, head, instars, larvae, mastication, morphometry, plumage, Germany
The Great Cormorant is a widespread bird species with almost worldwide distribution. Accordingly, its general biology has been investigated thoroughly. Less well known, however, are the chewing lice that live inside the plumage of this diving bird. We examined the two known species of Great Cormorant chewing lice, Eidmanniella pellucida (Rudow, 1869) (Amblycera: Menoponidae) and Pectinopygus gyricornis (Denny, 1842) (Ischnocera: Philopteridae). Taking advantage of the autofluorescence of the cuticle, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to explore the external morphology of all developmental stages of P. gyricornis. Morphometric analyses revealed a standard increase in body size from first larval instar to the adult. In addition, all instars exhibited increasing body segment differentiation, especially in the abdomen and the head. A total of 277 individuals of Pectinopygus gyricornis and 2 individuals of Eidmanniella pellucida were collected from eleven Great Cormorants from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, in 2015.