Abstract

Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) have experienced a dramatic decline in West Texas over the last 3 yr, and investigations are underway to evaluate the role of parasites in this decline. One of the key parasites being investigated is the eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi). Live eyeworms were extracted from both live and dead northern bobwhites, and in vitro survival was tested using 10 liquid media. Eyeworms placed in an egg white and physiological saline solution lived for at least 36 days. Live O. petrowi placed into the eyes of uninfected pen-raised bobwhites were monitored for 21 days to demonstrate successful transfer. Eyeworm behavior during feeding, mating, and development were monitored. This study is important to research that requires “banking” of live O. petrowi from wild-captured definitive hosts for life history studies and assessing the impact of O. petrowi on host individuals.

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