Quail W/ Flying ticks

pitdog

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I've been hunting quail in the Cajon Pass area for over 20 years and this is the first year that i've seen these flying ticks. SEE PIC @
http://communities.msn.com/JessesTrailCamP...amp;PhotoID=723
Doe's anyone have an official name for these pest's?
It's the size of a fly but you cannot smash it. I've seen them on waterfowl before but they were on every quail I shot.
Thanks for your insight.
sp


(Edited by wingman at 10:21 pm on Oct. 28, 2001)
 



pitdog

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That's a good idea karstic. I was hoping someone had an official name for this bug. With the picture i'm sure the biologist can tell what it is.
Thanks
sp
 

songdog

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I've seen these things before on quail.  They seem to "swim" in their feathers.  

Anything with more than four legs gives me the willies and I believe should be killed on sight.

I've never noticed anything wrong with the birds that I've found these on nor seen any sores... but they have to be on them for something other than a free ride.
 

pitdog

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Songdog I agree with you. I havent had time to look up the DFG Bio man to send an email but I will have an answer soon. The birds w/ the bugs that I checked didn't have any sores and I diddn't see anything wrong either.

My buddy has a theory though, he thinks that the quail I shot were the only birds effected with the bug and the bugs make the birds stupid and slow fliers and thats the only reason I was able to bag em.

Maybe my EX-BUDDY is right?

sp

(Edited by wingman at 9:46 pm on Oct. 29, 2001)
 

Mojave

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Since it has wings, it is an insect, rather than an arachnid, like a tick. I have never seen these on any bird, though I've seen mites from time to time. If I don't see an answer posted today, I'll try and look it up in one of my son's insect books tonight. Also, thinking about it, I believe A. Starker Leopold mentioned some kind of parasitic fly in his book, "California Quail".
 

songdog

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They're way bigger than mites too.  The ones I've seen get close to 1/2" in length.

--Jonathan
 

Mojave

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Further to my last comment: The photo isn't real clear, but it looks like it might be Stilbometopa impressa - a species of Hippoboscid fly. Leopold writes about them: "Stilbometopa impressa...live in the plumage of wild quail, but they are not common. I have occasionally seen..(Stilbometopa) - about the size of a housefly-crawling through the feathers of shot quail....Hippoboscids themselves have little direct effect on the health of quail, but they are significant as vectors of the Haemoproteus blood parasite."
OK- He writes about Haemoproteus also- Paraphrased, it is a blood parasite related to malaria, spread by bloodsucking flies, with most cases seeming to be benign, without obvious signs of debility. Yuck.
 

Pasco

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Every time I check this thread it gives me the willys.  That's the ugliest blood sucking parasite I've seen since Clinton left office.  At least now I'll know this thing if I run into it.
 

Marty

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From a purplemartin site:http://www.purplemartin.org/update/Parasites.html

LOUSEFLIES (Hippoboscid Flies) - These are the largest parasites you might observe crawling through a bird's plumage. Adult flies are slightly smaller than a housefly and are extremely flattened top to bottom. This flattening enables them to move quickly through the plumage of their hosts. Adult louseflies stay on their hosts for their entire life, sucking blood whenever they are hungry. The insects apparently overwinter as puparia in the host's nest. Young, feathered-out nestlings are generally more susceptible than adults to the attacks of louseflies. Feather lice commonly disperse to new host individuals by "hitching a ride" on the hairy bodies of these much larger insects; thus the name "lousefly."

Textbook Sketch
 

pitdog

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Thank you marty and mojave!
I feel better knowing what they are called and what they are about.
Should I report it to the DFG Boi dept? I have been hunting this area (Cajon/ Phealan) for over 20 years and Iv'e never seen one until this year.
I think I just answered my question.
Thanks again gentlemen.
sp
 

MNHNTR

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So thats what they are !!!  I've seen them on some quail I shot but not on others.  I never see what happens to them though.
 

Mojave

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Wingman - Couldn't hurt to report 'em to the DFG. The State Biologist might be interested to know about an outbreak in a localized area (or not). They can't be all that common - I haven't ever noticed them in about 20 years hunting around SoCal. (Of course, when you miss as much as I do, you don't get to handle a limit of birds, every time out!)
 

WingSetter

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Has anyone eaten a Quail that had these flies on them?? I'm not sure that I would eat something that had flies crawling all of it.  would you.
 

pitdog

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I ate em up and I can say that the only side effect is a twitch every so often and a couple of black outs but my mind seems to be in pretty good..... what was the question?
 

WingSetter

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Wingman,

Just curious what other hunters did with there game when they found critters all over them. Do you disregard due to the fact the bird has insects on it, or do you clean up the bird and eat up.
 

Thonzberry

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I have never seeb those on Quail before, must be the area hunted.
 

pitdog

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Thornzberry,
U & me both.this is an area i've hunted for over 20 yrs and this is the first!!!
 


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