Ectoparasites of opossums and raccoons in southeastern Georgia

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1994
Authors:O. J. Pung, Durden, L. A., Banks, C. W., Jones, D. N.
Journal:Journal of Medical Entomology
Volume:31
Issue:6
Pagination:915 - 919
Date Published:1994
Keywords:Acari, amblyomma, arthropods, ectoparasite, mice, opossums
Abstract:

Twelve species of ectoparasites (four fleas, three ticks, three chiggers, one macronyssid mite, and one atopomelid mite) were recovered from 42 opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, live- trapped from September 1992 through April 1994 in southeastern Georgia. The fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche) (prevalence = 19%) and Polygenis gwyni (C. Fox) (36%); the ticks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (40%) and Ixodes scapularis Say (19%); and the macronyssid mite, Ornithonyssus wernecki (Fonseca) (21%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on opossums. The atopomelid mite, Didelphilichus serrifer Fain, and the chigger mite Leptotrombidium peromysci Vercammen- Grandjean & Langston, both ectoparasites of opossums, are reported from Gerogia for the first time. Six species of ectoparasites (one chewing louse, four ticks, and one macronyssid mite) were collected from 58 raccoons, Procyon lotor (L.), examined between October 1992 and September 1993 in the same region. The chewing louse, Trichodectes octomaculatus Paine (prevalence = 24%); and the ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.) (69%), D. variabilis (55%), and Ixodes texanus Banks (24%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on raccoons. Three species of ticks, A. americanum, D. variabilis, and I. scapularis, were the only ectoparasites recovered from both host species. Several of the ectoparasites collected are proven vectors of pathogenic agents that affect humans and animals.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith