Two New Species of Sucking Lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura: Polyplacidae) From Endangered, Hibernating Lemurs (Primates: Cheirogaleidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:L. A. Durden, Blanco, M. B., Seabolt, M. H.
Journal:Journal of Medical Entomology
Pagination:568 - 575
Date Published:15-2-2017
Keywords:dwarf lemurs, Madagascar, new species

Lemurpediculus robbinsi sp. nov. is described from Crossley’s dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus crossleyi A. Grandidier, and Lemurpediculus claytoni sp. nov. is described from Sibree’s dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus sibreei Forsyth Major, from Madagascar. Both sexes of each new louse species are illustrated and distinguished from the two previously known species of Lemurpediculus: L. verruculosus (Ward) and L. petterorum Paulian. With the addition of two new species to the genus, an amended description of Lemurpediculus is provided. The two hosts of the new louse species are morphologically similar, endangered, obligately hibernating lemurs. These two species of lemurs are sometimes sympatric in rainforests in eastern Madagascar. Despite the morpho- logical similarity of the two host species, their lice are morphologically distinct and are easiest to identify based on the shape of the subgenital plate of the female and the shape of the genitalia in the male. Both new species of lice should be considered to be endangered because their hosts are endangered. It is not known if either of the new species of lice are vectors of pathogens or parasites to their hosts.

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