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Veterinary parasitology

Philornis sp. bot fly larvae in free living scarlet macaw nestlings and a new technique for their extraction.


PMID 23384580

Abstract

Bot fly larvae (Philornis genus) are obligate subcutaneous blood-feeding parasites of Neotropical birds including psittacines. We analyze twelve years of data on scarlet macaw (Ara macao) nestlings in natural and artificial nests in the lowland forests of southeastern Peru and report prevalence and intensity of Philornis parasitism. Bot fly prevalence was 28.9% while mean intensity was 5.0 larvae per infected chick. Prevalence in natural nests (11%, N=90 nestlings) was lower than in wooden nest-boxes (39%, N=57) and PVC boxes (39%, N=109). We describe a new technique of removing Philornis larvae using a reverse syringe design snake bite extractor. We compare this new technique to two other methods for removing bots from macaw chicks and find the new method the most suitable.

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