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Geographical distribution of the 
avian lice (Phthiraptera): 
a review 1 

Theresa Clay 

British Museum (Natural History) 


The avian lice are obligate parasites, spending their whole life-history 
from egg to adult on the body of their host without a free-living stage as 
in the fleas or intermediate hosts as in some of the endoparasites. It 
might therefore be thought that they would be independent of external 
conditions such as climate and other ecological aspects of the host’s 
environment. However, the great diversity of structure found amongst 
the eggs of the lice laid in comparable situations on the body of the bird, 
some of the differences apparently being related to the host’s environ¬ 
ment (Balter, in preparation), suggests that the external environment may 
affect the louse and its distribution. The kangaroo louse Heterodoxus 
spiniger Which has become established on the domestic dog in many 
parts of the world is found almost entirely between lat. 40°N and 40°S 
(Thompson 1940) and is perhaps limited by some climatic circumstances. 
Thus, the louse population may be subject to both a micro- and macro¬ 
environment, the latter perhaps sometimes influencing distribution 
(Table III). 

The distribution of the lice of birds is mainly a host one and. in many 
cases a genus ot louse will be restricted to an order or family of birds with 
each species restricted to a host species or a group of related host species. 
It is interesting however, that some orders of birds are parasitized by 
species with a wide host and geographical distribution (Table I). Pub¬ 
lished work on the Phthiraptera has concentrated on the host distribution 
and since Jardine, 1841 first suggested that ornithologists might use the 
distribution of the Mallophaga to trace relationships between their hosts 
(see Hopkins 1951), this aspect of the distribution of the Phthiraptera 
has been developed by Kellogg, Harrison, Hopkins, Clay, Eichler, 
Timuiermann, Keler and others. Deductions of host relationships from 
those of their parasites have been made with enthusiasm not always 
tempered by judgement. In Clay (1957) an assessment was made of the 
value of this source of evidence for host relationships and the factors 
which might influence and modify the original relationships. It was 


1 Received August 1972. 



GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 


537 


shown that, in general, the relationships of the lice do reflect those of 
their hosts and that anomalous distributions are the exception. In 
some examples of anomalous distribution a species appears to exhibit a 
geographical not a host distribution, but until recently discussion on 
this Subject hardly appeared in the literature. Hopkins (1949) and Clay 
(1949) gave some instances and since then it has been mentioned in 
various papers ; these together with unpublished examples are reviewed 
here. Apologies are made to those authors who have written on this 
subject but whose papers have been overlooked. 

Table I 

Phthirapteran species with wide host and geographical distributions 


PHTHIRAPTERA 

S. 

G. 

N. 

P. 

E. 

O. 

A. 

Colpocephalum turbinatnm 

36 

20 

(Falconiformes) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

Colpocephalum fregeli 

15 

3 

(Corvidae) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

Ciconiphilus decimfasciatus 

22 

16 

(Ardeidae) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

Cuculiphilus snodgrassi 

14 

9 

(Cuculidae) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

7 

Laemobothrion maximum 

32 

18 

(Falconiformes) 

+ 

+’ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

Eidmanniella pellucida 

10 

1 

(Phalacrocorax ) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

? 

+ 

Holomenopon leucoxanthum 

29 

12 

(Anseri formes) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

4" 

Degeeriella regalis 

9 

4 

(Falconiformes) 

+ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

— 

Saemundssonia africana 
Timmermann, sens. lat. 

11 

10 

(Vanellinae) 


_ 

+ 

+ 

+ 

Columbicola theresae Ansari 

5 

2 

(Columbidae) 


+ 

+ 

+ 

—■ 


S. species, and G. genera of the host parasitized. N = New World (Nearctic & 
Neotropical); P. Palearctic ; E. Ethiopian ; O. Oriental; A. Australasian (including 
New Zealand). ? None recorded, possible hosts present. 

Authors and dates of all Phthirapteran species up to 1951 as in Hopkins & 
Clay 1952. 

The Amblyceran examples are taken from the revisionary work of Price et al. and 
the Columbicola from Tendeiro, 1952. 


Geographical distribution in the Phthiraptera may be due to various 
causes which for convenience can be considered under the following 
headings : Absence, Primary and Secondary ; Secondary Infestations ; 
Geographical Isolation of Host; Unexplained Distributions. These 
divisions are not entirely satisfactory as some of the examples could be 
considered under more than one of the headings and there is always the 
dual role of host distribution and geographical distribution making 
much of the evidence difficult to evaluate. 


Absence 

a. Primary . The most obvious example of this is the absence of 
lice from certain geographical areas owing to the absence of the host* the 
distribution of the .lice being fundamentally a host one. Thus, none of 





538 JOURNAL, BOMBAY NATURAL HIST. SOCIETY , Vol 71 (3) 


the 20 or so genera specific to the Tinamidae are found in Africa because 
there are no tinamous in Africa. 

Another reason foi the primary absence of a louse genus in a geo¬ 
graphical area could be the absence of the genus on the ancestral stock 
which gave rise to the avian group in that area. Ward (1958) has made 
an interesting analysis of the louse fauna of the Galliformes and shows 
that two Ischnoceran genera : Cuclotogaster and Lipeurus , now represen¬ 
ted by many species on the Old World Galliformes, are not found in the 
New World and suggests that they were not present on the Avian stock 
which crossed the Behring land bridge. The absence of one of the 
starling lice in Noith America could be a modern example of this : Boyd 
(1951) examined 300 starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from six states in the 
U.S.A. and found only three of the four species which parasitize this 
bird in Europe ; Sturnidoecus sturni common on the European starling 
being absent on the introduced bird. The Coloceras- complex on the 
Columbidae may show another case of primary absence, Campanulotes 
being absent in the Ethiopian region and Coloceras perhaps absent in the 
New World ; although both are possibly replaced by related genera. 
In the Palearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions species of both 
genera are present, sometimes on the same host individual, showing 
that the absence in certain regions is not due to competition between the 
species of the two genera. 

The absence of Quadraceps ridgwayi in part of the range of its host, 
Haematopus ostralegus (Table III, 3) is probably primary, the parasite 
having perhaps been acquired from another member of the Charadrii- 
formes by the host stock which gave rise to the southern populations of 
Haematopus . 

b. Secondary Absence . A species of louse may be found in part 
only of the range of its host or a genus found only on members of an 
avian order in certain areas, having become extinct elsewhere. Clay 
(1949) gave examples of the absence of a host-Specific species even with¬ 
in quite small areas, local populations apparently lacking certain species ; 
presumably in such cases the missing species will be acquired again from 
neighbouring inter-breeding host populations. However, where the 
population is isolated then that species may be completely lost from the 
population. The example given above under Primary Absence of the 
missing species on North American starlings could equally well be ex¬ 
plained as a case of secondary absence by extinction. Another example 
which could be primary or secondary is shown in the distribution of 
Piagetiella (Amblycera) : the species of this genus are confined to the 
Pelecaniformes, living in the throat pouches ; they are represented by 
five species on pelicans and three species parasitic on six species of cor¬ 
morants (Price 1970). These three species belong to a distinctive species 
group easily separable from those on the pelicans, indicating that they 


GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 


539 


have not recently been acquired by the cormorants. There is no evidence 
suggesting that the hosts form a group of closely related species. Table II 
shows that with the exception of Phalacrocorax auritus and penicillatus , 
all the records are found within an area bounded by latitude 0° and 70°S 
and longitude 80°W and 20°E. It is possible that Piagetiella was once 
found throughout the genus Phalacrocorax but has become extinct in 
other parts of the world. Alternatively, this genus was parasitic on the 
stock Which gave rise to some of the southern cormorants, being secon¬ 
darily acquired by other unrelated cormorants and carried further north 
in the New World by Phalacrocorax olivaceus and auritus. The fact 
that Phalacrocorax neglectus from South Africa is parasitized by the 
same species of Piagetiella (. P. incomposita ) as the two American cor¬ 
morants {auritus and penicillatus ) suggests, if not a relationship between 
the hosts, at least a common distribution at one time. It is probable 
that Piagetiella will be found on other cormorants but it can be predicted 
that these will be cormorants from the subantarctic and adjacent regions; 
it is unlikely that it occurs on the European Phalacrocorax carbo and 
aristotelis, many of these birds having been examined without result. 
This distribution may therefore be an example partly of host isolation 
(see below) and partly of secondary infestation (see below). 


Table II 

Distribution of Piagetiella on Phalacrocorax 


Piagetiella 

Phalacrocorax 

Locality 


( a. atriceps 

S. Georgia ; S. Orkney Is.; Graham Land 

caputincisa Eichler 




( a. albiventer 

Falkland Is. 

vigua (Eichler) 

o. olivaceus 

No locality 

(unrecognizable) 

transitans (Ewing) 

bougainvillii 

Peru 


' penicillatus 

California 

incomposita ) 

auritus 

Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, 

(Kellogg & } 


Minnesota, Quebec. 

Chapman) ( 

_ neglectus 

Dassen Is., South Africa. 


Secondary absence may occur where a host species is parasitized by 
sympatric species belonging to the same genus or by species of a number 
of related sympatric genera. Such genera are presumably the result of 
divergence of an ancestral stock on a host group so that the resulting 
genera aie more closely related to each other than to genera found on 
other host groups. Examples are the Philoceanus- complex on the 
Procellariiformes (comprising about 10 genera), the Coloceras- complex 
of the Columbidae ; the Goniodes- complex of the Galliformes and the 
Ischnocera of the Psittaciformes and of the Bucerotidae. Thus, if one 





540 JOURNAL, BOMBAY NATURAL HIST. SOCIETY , Vol. 71 ( 3 ) 

of a pair of sympatric species becomes extinct in part of the host’s range 
and the other in another part (Clay 1949, fig. 4), the two species will show 
a geographical distribution ; the Falcolipeurus species on Gyps ruppellii 
(Table III, 6) may be an example. The same would apply if some of the 
genera belonging to a generic complex became extinct in part of the host’s 
range ; the North American game-bird fauna and the African and New 
World pigeon fauna, if not explicable by primary absence, may be 
examples of this. 


Table III 

Phthirapteran taxa found in part of the host’s range 


Host 

Phthirapteran Taxa 

Locality 

1. Phalacrocorax 

Piagetiella 

See Table II. 

2. Vanellinae 

Saemundssonia africana 
Timmermann 

Ethiopian ; Oriental; 
Australasian (Timmer¬ 
mann 1971). 

3. Haematopus ostralegus 

Quadraceps ridgwayi 

Neotropical; Australasian 
(Timmermann 1971). 

4. Sula leucogaster 

Pectinopygus garbei 

Atlantic 

Sula sula 

Pectinopygus garbei 

Atlantic 

Sula leucogaster 

Pectinopygus sulae 

Indian Ocean 

Sula sula 

Pectinopygus sulae 

Indian Ocean ; Coral Sea 
(Clay 1964) 

5. Tyto alba 

Strigiphilus aitkeni Clay 

New World; Australasian; 
Oriental. 

Tyto alba 

Strigiphilus rostratus 

Palearctic; Ethiopian 
(Clay 1966). 

6. Gyps ruppellii 

Falcolipeurus 

quadripustulatus 

Egypt, Arabia. 

Gyps ruppellii 

Falcolipeurus lineatus 

Somaliland, Tanzania, 
Nigeria (B. K. Tandan). 

7. Corvus orru 

Myrsidea schizotergum 
Klockenhoff 

Queensland, Australia. 

Corvus orru 

Myrsidea arafura 
Klockenhoff 

Northern Territory, 
Australia. 

8. Podiceps 

Aquanirmus 

See Table IV. 


Secondary infestations 

The establishment of a louse population on a new host may have taken 
place at any time during the evolution of louse species and host species. 
It seems probable that establishment is more likely to take place on a new 
host of the same family or order than on one belonging to a totally un¬ 
related group. That this is so is supported by the cases of geographical 





GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 


541 


distribution discussed below and which may be explained by such intra¬ 
group transfers. Little is known about what prevents a louse establishing 
itself on a new host, but it seems possible that much of the isolation of the 
Phthiraptera is due more to birds of different species not normally com¬ 
ing into close enough contact for the transfer of lice, than to the louse 
being unable to establish itself on the new host. Possible methods of 
inter-specific transfer were given in Clay, 1957. 

There are a number of examples of two or more hosts in one geo¬ 
graphical area having the same or similar species of parasite whereas this 
would not be expected from their relationships. An example is the 
occurrence of a species of Rhynonirmus on Bartramia (subfamily 
Tringinae) related to one on Philohela (subfamily Scolopacinae) ; the 
genus Rhynonirmus elsewhere being known only from the latter sub¬ 
family. If the placing of Bartramia in the Tringinae is correct then this 
may be a straightforward case of secondary infestation (Clay 1961). 
Another distribution, perhaps explicable by secondary infestation, is that 
of the species of Anatoecus on the flamingoes : Phoenicopterus antiquo - 
rum and Phoeniconaias minor , sympatric in Africa, have the same species 
of Anatoecus , while Phoenicopterus ruber and P. chilensis in the New 
World each have a distinct species. It would be expected that P . minor , 
considered generically distinct, would have the different parasite. Alter¬ 
natively, this distribution could be explained by divergent evolution of 
the New World lice or a mistaken assessment of flamingo relationships. 
However, that secondary inlestation may have taken place between the 
two African species of flamingoes is supported by the distribution of the 
species of another genus parasitic on thit> host family. Tandan & 
Brelih (1971) have shown that the three species of Phoenicopterus {anti- 
quorum , ruber and chilensis) are parasitized by one species [ {Anaticola 
phoenicopteri (Coinde) ], whereas Phoeniconaias minor has this species 
and also a distinct species of the same genus {Anaticola dissonus), the 
two never having been found together on the same host individual. It is 
suggested that phoenicopteri evolved on Phoenicopterus and dissonus 
on Phoeniconaias and that subsequently the former species became 
secondarily established on P. minor . The wide distribution of Saemunds - 
sonia africana (Table III, 2) on the southern populations of the Vanellinae 
may be due to secondary infestations on some of the hosts. 

Tendeiro (1962) has analysed the distribution of the louse genus 
Columbicola parasitic on the Columbidae and shown that the distri¬ 
bution of some species is more a geographical one than a host one and 
that these can be attributed to secondary infestations. 

There are other examples, probably due to secondary infestation, 
but in which the transfer of lice must have taken place at a time when 
the distribution of the host was different. Thus, Corvus kubaryi 
(Corvidae) on Guam Island (Marianas) has an established population 



542 JOURNAL, BOMBAY NATURAL HIST. SOCIETY, Vol. 71 (3) 

of a louse species belonging to a genus normally parasitic on the Rallidae, 
the species Rallicola insulana (Carriker) also being found on a Porphyrio 
(Rallidae); at the present time there is no overlap in distribution of the 
possible hosts (Clay 1953). Another example is the unexpected occur¬ 
rence of Actomithophilus hoplopteri, a parasite characteristic of the 
Vanellinae, on Charadrius vociferus (see Clay 1962). The absence of 
members of the Vanellinae in North America at the present time suggests 
extinction or changes in distribution of hosts from which this louse might 
have been acquired by Charadrius vociferus. The same may apply to the 
Coliiformes in Africa which are parasitized by a genus Colilipeurus 
apparently most nearly related to Falcolius on Microhierax (Falconi- 
formes) found in the Oriental region (Clay 1955). Relationship between 
the hosts is unlikely but if the distribution is due to secondary infestation 
then it must be postulated that the two host groups have at some time 
been sympatric. As both parasite genera now comprise a number of 
host-specific species, it must be presumed that the transfer preceded the 
divergence of the hosts. 

Geographical isolation of host 

The present distribution of Chelopistes can be explained by the iso¬ 
lation of the host group on which it evolved. Ward (1958) suggests 
that this genus, now widely distributed on the Cracidae, Odontophorinae 
and the Meleagrididae, evolved from a Goniodes stock in N. America 
during the Tertiary and after the re-union of North and South America 
in the Pliocene, moved southwards to Central and South America on such 
genera as Odontophorus. However, a study of the morphology of 
Chelopistes suggests that it (as well as Labicotes ) is a derivative of Oxyli- 
peurus, although it occupies the Goniodes- niche. Therefore, it seems 
possible that only the ancestral Oxylipeurus (among the Ischnocera) 
reached S. America, perhaps on an early Cracidae stock, which either 
crossed before the severance of connections between North and South 
America in the Paleocene or as one of Simpson’s ‘ Old Island Hoppers ’ 
(Simpson 1950). During this isolation Chelopistes evolved from an 
Oxylipeurus stock to occupy the niche used by Goniodes in many of the 
Nearctic and Palaearctic birds. With the re-uniting of the Americas 
during the late Pliocene and the movement south of other families of 
birds, Chelopistes became established on the Odontophorinae and 
Meleagrididae. This would explain its absence on members of the 
Odontophorinae north of Mexico and the absence of Goniodes on the 
Cracidae. Thus, the present distribution may be the result of divergence 
on an isolated host group, with some subsequent secondary establishment 
in other host groups, all taking place during the early evolution of the 
hosts. This shows the difficulty of using host-parasite relationships to 


GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 


543 


elucidate the phylogeny of the higher categories of birds. However, 
such cases if correctly interpreted may throw some light on the origins 
and migrations of avian groups. 

Another unusual type of distribution perhaps explicable by host 
isolation is that of Aquanirmus on the grebes (Podicipitiformes). 
Edwards (1965) has shown that two of the grebe species common to 
Europe and North America are parasitized by species of Aquanirmus 
belonging to different species groups on the two sides of the Atlantic 
(Table IV). In addition, Fodiceps cristatus is parasitized in Europe 
by A. podicipis (Denny) belonging to the colymbinus species group and 


Table IV 

The species of Aquanirmus on Podiceps 


Podiceps 

Locality 

Aquanirmus 

Species Group 

auritus 

Europe 

N. World .. 

colymbinus 
bucomfishi Edwards 

colymbinus 

bahli 

nigricollis 

Europe 

N. World .. 

colymbinus 

americanus (Kell. & Chap.) 

colymbinus 

bahli 

ruficollis 

Europe 

S. Africa, India 

podicipitis 
bahli Tandan 

colymbinus 

bahli 

cristatus 

Europe .. 

podicipis 

colymbinus 

griseigena 

Europe .. 

N. World 

emersoni Edwards 

emersoni 

dominicus 

N. World .. .. 

chamberlini Edwards 

bahli 


Podiceps griseigena on both sides of the Atlantic has the same species of 
Aquanirmus , belonging to a species group otherwise found on North 
American grebes. If, as has been suggested, the grebes originated in 
North America, it is possible as Edwards says that only one of the grebes 
arriving in Europe had the colymbinus stock and that the others acquired 
it by secondary infestation. However, another perhaps more likely 
explanation is that the colymbinus stock was the original stock on all 
the grebes and on the European grebes it diverged little, perhaps now 
representing only a polytypic species, whereas on the North American 
stock greater divergence took place ; it should be noted that the 
differences between the species groups of Aquanirmus are small. If 
this is a correct hypothesis, the following deductions can be made : 
a. Podiceps griseigena became established in Europe at a later date than 
the other Species of Fodiceps. b. The possibility of a New World rufi- 
collis stock, now extinct, which gave rise first to the Northern European 
13 





544 JOURNAL, BOMBAY NATURAL HIST. SOCIETY, Vol. 71 ( 3 ) 

ruficollis parasitized by the colymbinus species group and at a later date 
to the African and Oriental ruficollis populations after it had acquired 
bahli from a New World grebe. Specimens from ruficollis in other parts 
of its range might throw further light on its distribution routes. Iso¬ 
lation of host may be responsible for the two species of Strigiphilus 
parasitic on the widely distributed Tyto alba (Example 5, Table III) and 
may indicate the distribution routes from the centre of origin of this 
bird. 

Some apparent cases of geographical distribution of lice are probably 
host distributions due to the hosts in one region being closely related to 
each other, having evolved from a common stock in that area. Trinoton 
aculeatum , for instance, is parasitic on Dendrocygna viduata in South 
America and South Africa and on D. bicolor and D. autumnalis in the 
New World, while each of the species D. javanica (Oriental), D. arcuata 
(Australia, Papua) and D. eytoni (Australia) are parasitized by a separate 
species (Clay 1963). This is probably a host distribution, the divergence 
of the lice being dependent on the time and divergence of the hosts. 

Other cases which may be either host or geographical distribution are 
those in which two subspecies of host are each parasitized by a species of 
louse, as for example, the occurrence of Heleonomus semiluctus on 
Balearica p. pavonina in west Africa and H. cornutus on Balearica pavo - 
nina gibbericeps in east Africa (Price 1970). The specific differences 
may have arisen during the geographical isolation of the louse popula¬ 
tions or as an adaptation to some difference in the host’s external 
characters, arising during the isolation of the hosts themselves. The 
distribution of Myrsidea on the subspecies of Corvus macrorhynchos 
may be partly a geographical and partly a host one (Klockenhoff 1969). 
In the case of Corvus orru cecilae in Australia (Table III), the Same 
subspecies is parasitized by one species of Myrsidea in the Townsville 
area, Queensland and by another species (or a distinct subspecies) at 
Port Essington, Northern Territory (Klockenhoff 1972). 


Unexplained distributions 

The explanation of the distributions discussed above are highly 
conjectural; in the following examples any conjecture at all may be 
unwise : a. Example 4 in Table III in which Sula sula and Sula leuco - 
gas ter (Pelecaniformes) share the same parasite in the Atlantic and share 
a different one in the rest of their range. Some possible explanations 
for this were given in Clay, 1964. b. The distribution of Degeeriella 
regalis sens . lat. on the Milvinae ; Buteo jamaicensis , B. swainsoni and 
B. galapagoensis ; Haliaeetus vocifer , H. leucoryphus and Gypohierax 
angolensis (see Table I for geographical range). This may be an example 


GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 545 

of secondary absence by extinction of one of a sympatric pair, the fulva 
group taxa having become extinct on these hosts, and the regalis group 
taxa on others of the Falconiformes. c. Two similar species of Struthio - 
lipeurus , one oa the ostrich {Struthio) in Africa, the other on the Rhea 
in South America, the genus Struthiolipeurus being found only on these 
two host genera. This could be explained either by relationship between 
the hosts or by overlap of distribution at some time. d. The occurrence 
of Chelopistes on Lerwa lerwa. As shown above Chelopistes is found 
on the New World families Cracidae, Odontophorinae and the Meleagri- 
didae and this distribution suggests that its origin and divergence took 
place in the New World. Why therefore does a typical member of the 
genus turn up on Lerwa (subfamily Phasianinae) now restricted to 
Afghanistan and the Himalaya east to the mountains of Szechuan? 
Chelopistes is a distinctive genus and the species on Lerwa resembles the 
other species too closely to suggest that it could have arisen by parallel 
evolution. It must be presumed that Chelopistes was found on hosts 
With a continuous distribution from the New World to the Oriental 
region, of which only that on Lerwa in a small part of Asia remains. 
It may be relevant that also parasitic on Lerwa is a species of Lagopoecus 
which does not resemble the species-group typical of the Tetraonidae and 
found on some members of the Phasianinae, but is more similar to the 
species found on the Odontophorinae, especially to Lagopoecus numi- 
dianus (Denny) from Colinus virginianus. This group of species of 
Lagopoecus parasitic on the Odontophorinae shows rather diverse charac¬ 
ters especially in the form of the male genitalia, so that the fact that those 
of the Lerwa-infesimg species are distinct would not rule out a relation¬ 
ship. 


Conclusions 

The present distribution of the avian Phthiraptera is the result of a 
complex of circumstances and factors operating at all stages of the 
evolution of the host and parasite and involving host specificity, geo¬ 
graphical isolation, extinction, secondary infestations and the various 
changing ecological factors in the environment of the louse provided 
by the body of the bird. The ornithologist may benefit from a knowl¬ 
edge of the distribution of the Phthirapteran parasites, not only from 
the light this may throw on bird phylogeny, the phylogenetic relation¬ 
ship being the basic one, but the evidence provided of early migrations, 
dispersal routes (Table V) and of former distributions. More extensive 
collecting and closer study of the genera, based on detailed revisions, are 
revealing and will reveal further examples of geographical distribution 
and perhaps help to elucidate some of the present inexplicable cases. 


546 JOURNAL , BOMBAY NATURAL HIST. SOCIETY , Fo/. 71 (3) 


Table V 

Species and genera of phthiraptera showing 

DISCONTINUOUS GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 


Louse & Host Group 

New 

World 

Austra¬ 

lasian 

Ethiopian 

Oriental 

Palea re¬ 
tie 

Physconella Columbidae 

+ 

+ 

— 

— 

— 

Quadraceps ridgwayi 
Haematopus ostralegus 

+ 

+ 

— 

— 

— 

Strigiphilus aitkeni 

Tyto alba 

+ 

+ 

— 

+ 

— 

Aquanirmus bahli 

Podiceps 

+ 

? 

+ 


— 

Struthiolipeurus 

Struthio, Rhea 

+ 

— 

+ 

— 

— 

Saemundssonia africana 
Vanellinae 


+ 

+ 

+ 

— 

Piagetiella incomposita 
Phalacrocoracidae 

+ 


+ 


— 

Trinoton aculeatum 
Dendrocygna 

+ 

— 

+ 

— 


Chelopistes 

Galliformes 

+ 

— 

— 

+ 

— 

Strigiphilus rostratus 

Tyt'y alba 

— 


+ 

—“ 

+ 


? No records* possible host present. 


References 


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parasitism of the starling Sturnus vul¬ 
garis in North America. J. Parasit. 
37 : 56-84. 

Clay, T. (1949): Some problems in 
the evolution of a group of ectoparasites. 
Evolution 3 : 279-299. 

-- (1953) : Revisions of the 

genera of Mallophaga. 1. The Rallicola - 
complex. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 123: 
563-587. 

--(1955) : Revisions of the 

Genera of Mallophaga. Colilipeurus and 
a new genus. Trans. R. ent. Soc. Lond. 
107 : 169-186. 


Clay, T. (1957): The Mallophaga 
of Birds in Premier Symposium sur la 
spdcificite parasitaire des parasites de 
Vertebres. Neuchatel. 

--(1961) : Three new species of 

Mallophaga (Insecta). Bull. Brit. Mus. 
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GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF AVIAN LICE 


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