We examined 115 hunter-killed mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) from 4 states (Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee, U.S.A.) in 1998 and 1999 to investigate geographical variation in the prevalence and intensity of intestinal helminth infections. Four intestinal helminth species were identified: Killigrewia delafondi, Ornithostrongylus crami, Ascaridia columbae, and Capillaria obsignata. The number of worms (all helminth species combined) per infected bird ranged from 1 to 166 (mean ± SE = 12.7 ± 7.45, median = 2.0). Filarids. Aproctella stoddardi, were found in 2 birds but were probably adhering to the outside of the intestine. Overall, 18% of the doves were infected with 1 or more species of helminths. The percentage of doves infected with at least 1 helminth species varied from 4% in Arizona to 27% in South Carolina. Mixed infections occurred in only 3 individuals (14% of infected birds). We found no significant differences in prevalence of infection among any of the 4 helminths by host age or sex, and prevalences were too low to test for differences among states. The intensity of O. crami was higher in males than in females but did not differ significantly among states. Intensities of the other 3 helminths did not differ by sex or state, and we found no differences in helminth intensity by age. Intestinal length was significantly greater in infected than in uninfected birds.
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Intestinal Helminths in Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) from Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee, U.S.A.