Helminth communities of 171 fledged white-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica asiatica) from the expanding eastern population in Texas (USA) were examined from hosts collected 11 June to 19 September 1997 within their historical range, new breeding periphery, and an intermediate area. Eleven helminth species, representing 435 individuals, were found. Helminths occurred in three microhabitats, of which the small intestine was the most commonly occupied. Nematodes dominated numerically (76% of total worms), followed by cestodes (17%), and trematodes (7%). Infracommunities were species-poor; the most complex infracommunity consisted of three helminth species, which occurred in three host individuals, followed by two species that occurred in 13 hosts. The remaining 155 doves had one (70) or no (85) species. The overall helminth component community was species-poor and was dominated by Ascaridia columbaewhich occurred in 26% of the white-winged doves and accounted for 65% of all helminth individuals. Prevalence and abundance of A. columbaevaried by geographic region and host age, but not by host sex. Helminth component communities varied by geographic region, host age, and host sex. These differences were primarily attributable to unique occurrences of uncommon species within specific host subpopulations. Results suggest that the white-winged doves' multimodal regional abundance pattern, sympatry with other columbids, and granivorous diet may be more important in shaping helminth community structure than the influences often associated with geographic range expansion.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1