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Ectoparasites and intestinal helminths of speckled pigeon (Columba guinea Hartlaub and Finsch 1870) in Zaria, Nigeria.

K.L Adang, S.J Oniye, A.U Ezealor, P.A Abdu, OJ Ajanusi, K.P Yoriyo


A total of 30 (20 males and 10 females) Speckled Pigeons trapped from the wild in Zaria and its environs, Nigeria, were examined for ectoparasites and intestinal helminths, to determine the prevalence, intensity and mean intensity of infestation and infection. The plumages of the birds were brushed onto a white sheet of paper placed in a tray for the collection of ectoparasites, while the gastrointestinal tracts of the birds were examined for helminths. Eighteen (60.0%) of the birds were infested by three species of ectoparasites. The ectoparasites comprised of lice: 17 (56.7%) Menopon gallinae Linnaeus 1758, 18 (60.0%) Columbicola columbae Linnaeus 1758 and flies: 9 (30.0%) Pseudolynchia canariensis Macquart 1840. Single, double and triple infestations were found in 1(3.3%), 8(26.7%) and 9(30.0%) respectively, though the difference was not significant (P>0.05). The sex-specific infestation rate was 12(60.0%) in males and 6(60.0%) in females. Seventeen (56.7%) birds were infected by helminths represented by four species of cestodes recovered from the gastrointestinal tract. The cestodes were represented by Raillietina tetragona Molin, 1858 1(3.3%), Raillietina cesticillus Molin, 1858 8(26.7%), Amoebotaenia cuneata Linstow, 1872 4(13.3%) and Hymenolepis carioca Magalhaes, 1898 4(13.3%). Single infection was the only infection type observed. The sex-specific rate of infection was 11(55.0%) in males and 6(60.0%) in females. This study portrays the Speckled Pigeons as a probable definitive host of some ectoparasites and helminths.

Keywords: Ectoparasites, Gastrointestinal helminths, Prevalence,
Speckled Pigeon, Columba guinea, Zaria, Nigeria
AJOL African Journals Online