Additive effects of ectoparasites over reproductive attempts in the long-lived alpine swift
We looked for louse flies (Diptera, Hippoboscidae) in a mixed colony of 9 species of birds from 1991 to 1997. Alpine swifts (Apus melba) exhibited an unusually high prevalence (85.9%) by Crataerina melbae (Rondani, 1879). No birds from the other 8 breeding bird species were parasitized by this louse fly. We suggest that the number of potential swiftlike hosts as well as the size of hosts may account for the differential prevalence of the louse flies within the colony.