Black noddies are parasitized by chewing lice (Quadraceps hopkinsi). Black noddies are often seen "sunning" themselves: holding their wings spread in direct sunlight. It has been demonstrated that this behavior kills chewing lice and helps to control parasite loads. Feather lice on black noddies include Actornithophilus ceruleus, Actornithophilus incisus, Austromenopon species, and Saemundssonia species. Other ectoparasites include feather mites (Larinyssus orbicularis), chiggers (Guntheria domrowi and Neoschoengastia ewingi), hippoboscid flies (Ornithocia and Alfersia aenescens), and ticks. Argasid ticks (Carios capensis) are found in nests (average 159 per nest). These ticks which carry arboviruses that cause encephalitis. Antibodies to arboviruses have been detected in black noddy populations as well as antibodies to human influenza and Newcastle Disease. Unexplained periodic epidemics seem to cause high levels of mortality in some populations. Nematode parasites (Contracaecum magnipapillatum) and two species of kidney flukes (Renicola foliata and Renicola caudescens) are known endoparasites.
Black noddy nesting colonies result in significant additions of nutrients to the soils where they nest. Black noddies nesting on Heron Island, in the Great Barrier Reef, are estimated to add 45 tons per year of guano to the soil. This effectively transfers about 1.4 tons per year of phosphorus from the surrounding ocean waters to the terrestrial ecosystem, influencing vegetation communities on nesting islands. Guano deposits also add significant amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium to soils.
- chewing lice (Quadraceps hopkinsi)
- feather lice (Actornithophilus ceruleus)
- feather lice (Actornithophilus incisus)
- feather lice (Austromenopon species)
- feather lice (Saemundssonia species)
- feather mites (Larinyssus orbicularis)
- chiggers (Guntheria domrowi)
- chiggers (Neoschoengastia ewingi)
- hippoboscid flies (Ornithocia)
- hippoboscis flies (Alfersia aenescens)
- argasid ticks (Carios capensis)
- nematode parasites (Contracaecum magnipapillatum)
- kidney flukes (Renicola foliata)
- kidney flukes (Renicola caudescens)
- Moyer, B., G. Wagenbach. 1995. Sunning by black noddies (Anous minutus) may kill chewing lice (Quadraceps hopkinsi). The Auk, 112: 1073-1077.
- Allaway, W., A. Ashford. 1984. Nutrient input by seabirds to the forest on a coral island of the Great Barrier reef. Marine Ecology, 19: 297-298.
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