Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Ixodes ricinus immatures on birds in a focus of Lyme borreliosis.

Abstract

The infestation of passerine birds by immature stages of I. ricinus was studied in a Swiss woodland (the Staatswald in the Canton of Berne) during May-October 1988. 13 bird species were found to be parasitized by larvae and nymphs of I. ricinus, with blackbirds (Turdus merula), song thrushes (T. philomelos) and robins (Erithacus rubecula) being most heavily infested. A total of 300 larvae and 162 nymphs were collected off 95 avian hosts. The prevalence of nymphs on birds was highest in spring, while numbers of larvae peaked in summer. Motionless spirochaetes were isolated from 2 robins. Infected ticks were removed from 5 species of bird, T. merula, T. philomelos and E. rubecula again being most heavily parasitized. The infection rate of larvae and nymphs removed from birds averaged 16.3 and 21.7%, respectively. It is suggested that some Turdidae may act as amplifying hosts for Borrelia burgdorferi.