Ectoparasites of free-ranging pumas and jaguars in the Paraguayan Chaco

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:L. A. Durden, Cunningham, M. W., McBride, R., Ferree, B.
Journal:Veterinary Parasitology
Date Published:Apr-2006
Keywords:ectoparasites, fleas, Jaguars, Paraguay, Pumas, ticks

Ectoparasites were collected from seven puma (Puma concolor) and seven jaguar (Panthera onca) live-captures (each representing six different animals) in the Paraguayan Chaco from 2002 to 2004. The same five species of ectoparasites were recovered from both host species: the flea, Pulex simulans (total on both hosts combined=30 male, 49 female), and the ticks, Amblyomma cajennense (1 male, 4 female, 46 nymphs, 241 larvae), Amblyomma parvum (42 male, 25 female), Amblyomma tigrinum (1 male, 7 female, 34 larvae) and Amblyomma triste (4 male). There were no statistical differences between the prevalences (percent of hosts infested) for any of these ectoparasite species between the two host species, and only P. simulans showed a significantly higher mean intensity (mean no. of each ectoparasite species per infested host) on one of the host species (jaguar). Clearly, these two large carnivores share similar ectoparasite faunas in the Paraguayan Chaco. However, both carnivores occupy large geographical distributions in the New World and this study, combined with the few previous studies, suggests that their ectoparasite faunas differ slightly in different parts of their respective ranges.

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