Authors: N.R. Dunham, S.T. Peper, C. Downing, E. Brake, D. Rollins and R.J. Kendall

Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) have experienced chronic declines within the Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas. Parasitic infection, which has long been dismissed as a problem in quail, has not been studied thoroughly until recently. A total of 219 northern bobwhite and 101 scaled quail from Mitchell County, Texas were captured and donated from 2014 to 2015, and examined for eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) and caecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula) infections. In 2014, bobwhites averaged 19.6±1.8 eyeworms and 98.6±8.2 caecal worms, and 23.5±2.1 eyeworms and 129.9±10.7 caecal worms in 2015. Scaled quail averaged4.8±1.0 eyeworms and 50±6.8 caecal worms in 2014, and 5.7±1.3 eyeworms and 38.1±7.1 caecal worms in 2015. This study expands the knowledge of parasitic infection in quail inhabiting the Rolling Plains of Texas. A significant difference was documented in O. petrowi infection between species but there was no significant difference in A.pennula between quail species. No significant difference was detected in parasite infection between the sexes of both northern bobwhite and scaled quail. This study also documented the highest reported O. petrowi infection in both species of quail. Additional research is needed on the life history and infection dynamics of O.petrowi and A. pennula infections to determine if there are individual- and/or population-level implications due to parasitic infection.

Suggested Citation

N.R. Dunham, S.T. Peper, C. Downing, E. Brake, D. Rollins and R.J. Kendall.2017. Infection levels of the eyeworm Oxyspirura petrowi and caecal worm Aulonocephalus pennula in the northern bobwhite and scaled quail from the Rolling Plains of Texas. J. Helmimmthology Volume 91, Issue 5 : 569-577.