Back to Browse Journals » Reports in Parasitology » Volume 3

Dry year does not reduce invasive parasitic fly prevalence or abundance in Darwin's finch nests

Authors Koop JA, Le Bohec C, Clayton DH

Received 16 May 2013

Accepted for publication 24 July 2013

Published 3 October 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 11—17


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jennifer AH Koop,1,2 Céline Le Bohec,1,3 Dale H Clayton1

1Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 2Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA; 3Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Laboratoire Européen Associé (LEA 647 'Biosensib'), Principality of Monaco

Abstract: The recent introduction of the parasitic nest fly Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) to the Galápagos Islands poses a serious threat to the bird species it infests, including Darwin's finches. Variation in climatic conditions, such as rainfall or drought, may influence fly populations and their effect on birds. We monitored the abundance of P. downsi in an extremely dry year in nests of the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis). We fumigated nests to compare the reproductive success of birds in nests with and without flies. Neither the prevalence nor the abundance of P. downsi decreased significantly in the dry year compared with an earlier wet year for which we have already published data. Very few birds bred successfully under the dry conditions, independent of parasite prevalence and abundance. The low reproductive success of the finches presumably reflected limited food resources rather than parasites. Our sample sizes were low because few birds attempted to breed in the dry year. Nevertheless, our data indicate that P. downsi is capable of withstanding the extreme climatic fluctuations characteristic of the Galápagos Islands, which may contribute to the invasiveness of this parasite.

Keywords: breeding success, Geospiza fortis, invasive species, medium ground finch, parasitic fly

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 


Readers of this article also read:

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012


Chen ZQ, Liu Y, Zhao JH, Wang L, Feng NP

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:1709-1710

Published Date: 30 March 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010

Pharmacokinetics and tolerance study of intravitreal injection of dexamethasone-loaded nanoparticles in rabbits

Linhua Zhang, Yue Li, Chao Zhang, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2009, 4:175-183

Published Date: 4 September 2009