Existing hypotheses only partially explain male biased parasitism in mammals and birds. The present study examined whether male biased parasitism by a common trematode and nematode exists in breeding Doublecrested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) from Lake Erie and if any sex bias in parasitism could be explained by sex differences in body size and foraging ecology, evaluated using stable isotope profiles (based on 13C, 15N). Male cormorants had three times the abundance of Drepanocephalus spathans (a trematode) than females; however, there were no significant sex differences in abundance or intensity of Contracaecum spp. Relationships between body size and parasitism were either non-existent or inconsistent. Stable carbon isotope profiles indicated that male and female cormorants that foraged in more pelagic habitats had more Contracaecum spp. In summary, male biased parasitism was present in a sample of Lake Erie cormorants and differences in foraging ecology might affect the levels of parasitism in cormorants.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Carbon isotope, Contracaecum spp., Double-crested Cormorant, Drepanocephalus spathans, foraging ecology, Lake Erie, male-bias, nitrogen isotope
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1675/063.033.0306
Journal Waterbirds
Citation
Robinson, S.A. (Stacey A.), Forbes, M, Hebert, C.E, & McLauglin, J.D. (J. Daniel). (2010). Male biased parasitism in cormorants and relationships with foraging ecology on Lake Erie, Canada. Waterbirds, 33(3), 307–313. doi:10.1675/063.033.0306