Philornis downsi in the Galapagos

Philornis downsi

Philornis downsi is an avian nest parasite that is native to mainland South America and invaded the Galapagos Islands during the early-mid 20th century.  Darwin’s finches and other endemic landbirds in Galapagos are very susceptible to P. downsi and they are being attacked at high rates with high resulting mortality rates of nestlings.  We have been studying the interactions between P. downsi and its parasitoids in mainland Ecuador and discovered a parasitoid species with high specificity to the genus Philornis – Conura annulifera.  Our current studies continue to evaluate this parasitoid as a possible biological control agent of P. downsi.  


Ismael, George, and Mauricio.
Philornis downsi adult.