Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Parasitology (June 1966) 52(3): 573-578. Copyright 1966, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


A 2-year epidemiological study of Plasmodium hexamerium in meadowlarks and starlings of the Cheyenne Bottoms Waterfowl Management Area, Barton County, Kansas, revealed that seasonal infection incidence varied significantly in the meadowlark, being highest in the early spring and lowest in the winter, but did not vary significantly in the starling. Both host species became infected at an early age, the meadowlark in the nest and the starling soon after leaving it. In concurrent vector studies: (1) Culex tarsalis was infected with P. hexamerium in the laboratory; (2) C. tarsalis, Aedes nigromaculis, and A. sollicitans were exceedingly abundant and fed regularly on small birds in the field, therefore all are considered potential vectors with C. tarsalis the most likely; (3) mosquito populations were not high until June when annual transmission probably begins; (4) populations of probable vectors are too low during March and April to account for the observed increase in malaria incidence in meadowlarks collected at that time. Overall differences in the epidemiological patterns of P. hexamerium in the meadowlark and starling are credited principally to differences in migratory habitats of the two birds and degree of ecological association with vectors