Evolution of crypsis in feather lice

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Science
Department Biology
Author Kim, Dukgun
Title Evolution of crypsis in feather lice
Date 2008-12
Description Crypsis is the color resemblance of an animal to its background such that predators have difficulty in distinguishing it. Although a great deal is known about crypsis in free-ranging insects, crypsis in ectoparasites is still poorly understood. Among ectoparasites, feather lice provide a unique chance to test whether ectoparasites are cryptically colored. Most feather lice are host specific and the major host defense against them is preening, a presumably visual process. Therefore, crypsis might be selectively advantageous for feather lice to escape from host defense. In this thesis, I use a comparative approach and an experimental approach to test for crypsis in feather lice. I investigate the correlation between louse color and host color. The data show that the color of congeneric lice is correlated with host colors while colors of head lice, which a bird cannot preen, are not. This suggests that feather lice are cryptically colored. I conducted experiments to test for crypsis using different color morphs of Rock Pigeons and their lice. I did not find evidence of crypsis from my experiments. Crypsis may simply not be important in Rock Pigeon lice. I show that feather lice do not reflect much ultraviolet using the reflectance spectra of pigeon lice. This thesis provides the first rigorous test of crypsis in ectoparasites.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Rock pigeon; Birds;Lice
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Evolution of crypsis in feather lice " J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, QL3.5 2008 .K54
Rights Management © Dukgun Kim
Format Extent 91,330 bytes
Identifier us-etd2,97429
Source Original: University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
ARK ark:/87278/s6988nj4
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2012-05-17
ID 192694
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6988nj4