Mixed haemosporidian infections are associated with higher fearfulness in Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

M.P. Marinov (Corresponding author), C. Marchetti, D. Dimitrov, M. Ilieva, P. Zehtindjiev

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Blood parasite infections have been shown to influence behavioural traits of their avian hosts, in particular activity level and boldness. Following the hypothesis that a mixed infection by different parasite species should have higher effects than single-species infections, we analysed activity and boldness in wild-caught Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla flava L., 1758), a trans-Saharan migrant, during the energetically demanding spring migration. Eighty-five percent of the birds were naturally infected with Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 or Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 (Sporozoa, Haemosporida) and 27% of individuals had parasites from both genera. No differences in activity were found among uninfected, single infection, and mixed infection groups. Birds with infections from both genera appeared to be more fearful when first introduced to a cage. These birds also tended to be less likely to approach a novel object compared with uninfected birds and birds infected by a single genus only.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • international

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