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Invertebrate fauna in nests of the house sparrow Passer domesticus and the tree sparrow Passer montanus in central Poland



Invertebrate fauna in nests of the house sparrow Passer domesticus and the tree sparrow Passer montanus in central Poland



International Studies on Sparrows2001(2001); 27-28: 35-58



Nests of House (Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrows {Passer montanus) were examined in the commune of Lomianki, near Warsaw, Poland (52[degree]20'N, 20[degree]50'E). 29 nests of the House Sparrow and 87 nest of the Tree Sparrow were collected. 10759 invertebrate specimens belonging to 20 taxonomic groups were isolated. The mean abundance of invertebrate fauna in nests of the House Sparrow was 96.0 specimens. In nests of House Sparrows, most abundant were larvae of insects, Siphonaptera and Psocoptera. The mean abundance of invertebrates in Tree Sparrow nests was 91.6 specimens. The Psocoptera were most abundant. Larvae of Insects, Siphonaptera, Coleoptera and Araneae were also abundant. We categorized nest fauna into three groups: 1. taxonomic groups abundant and frequent in nests of at least one of the two sparrow species, and closely associated with nests of a given host species. 2. taxonomic groups abundant in nests of at least one of the two sparrow species and in at least one of the study areas, and narrowly specialized for nests of a given host species in a given area. 3. taxonomic groups not abundant and infrequent in nests of both sparrow species, that were not specialized for sparrow nests. Representatives of these groups occurred regularly. They completed their life cycle in nests, as it is the case of Psocoptera and Siphonaptera or at least a part of it (larvae of different insects, but as they were not identified, it cannot be excluded that they completed their cycle in nests). Different trophic, topic, and microclimatic conditions play part in this process. In terms of trophic interactions, we found ectoparasites. including ectoparasites of birds and other animals, also parasitoids, zoophages, a group comprising phytophages, saprophages, necrophages, coprophages, and then pantophages and mycophages. Among them, most abundant were phyto-, sapro-, necro- and coprophages (63%). The check-list of inyertebrates recorded from House and Tree Sparrow nests is in Appendix 1.

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