Prevalence and density of Haemoproteus danilewskyi was studied in a population of free-ranging blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) in southcentral Florida (USA) from May 1992 to December 1995. Prevalence of infection was 27% for data combined over years, seasons, ages, and sexes. Prevalence did not vary between sexes or among years, but increased with age and varied with season, being highest in June–July and lowest in November–January. Parasite density did not vary between sexes or among seasons, but was higher in younger birds when controlling for season. To determine periods of natural transmission, seasonal patterns of infection were compared with previous month abundance of the biting fly vectors. Mean monthly prevalence of H. danilewskyi in older jays was positively correlated with previous month abundance of Culicoides edeni and C. arboricola, both capable of sporogonic development of H. danilewskyi.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1