Mallophaga from birds (mostly Corvidae and Phasianidae) of India and neighbouring countries
Records of the Indian Museum
this Museum sent to us a collection of Mallophaga taken from bird skins of the Museum. These Mallophaga were taken from the skins of crows, jays and pheasants, most of which had been collected in India. Some, however, had come from China, Persia, Tibet, the Malay Peninsula and elsewhere. The specific determinations of the birds may of course be accepted without question, and the localities are given for most of the specimens with admirable definiteness.' The determinations of the Mallophagan
... asites, together with descriptions of the new species found among them, are presented in this paper. The collecting of dead parasites from dry bird skins in Museums would, at first sight, seem to be a proceeding attended with a dangerous lack of certainty-concerning the relation of parasite and host. A good deal of straggling might be expected. As a matter of fact, this danger is not a serious one. The comparison of host records based on collections made from dried skins with records based on collections from f reshl}-obtained hosts in the field, show that on the whole the records from the dried skins are not misleading. Indeed a great majorit}' of the records in Piaget's " Les Pediculines ", which is the monumental basis for all of our knowledge of the Mallophaga and their host relations, were made on a basis of the examination of skins in European museums. The lack of danger from straggling comes about from the sedentary habits of the parasites themselves and their early death after the host's death. The collection of Mallophaga described in this paper is of particular interest because it offers a rather intensive stud}^ of the parasites of the Indian Corvidae and Phasianidae. The collection of Indian birds in these two families is particularly large in the Indian Museum, and parasites have therefore been taken from many species in the two families and from many individual specii Specimens labelled "no history" are, with few exceptions, the skins of birds that have died in captivity in India. -N. A.