ABSTRACT

Numerous arthropod taxa are important in human and veterinary medicine. The salivary secretions and feces of arthropods can cause allergic reactions in host vertebrates or harbor pathogens. Also, bites can be a risk factor for secondary infections. Documenting the diversity of arthropods of medical and veterinary importance remains an important aspect of disease control and prevention. We provide new records of ectoparasitic arthropods from Mexico that are of potential medical or veterinary relevance. Scanning electron microscopy along with amplification and sequencing of a fragment of the mitochondrial gene (16S rRNA) was used to confirm some species identities. We report the cat louse Felicola subrostratus from cats and the chewing louse Heterodoxus spiniger from dogs, which are common ectoparasites but largely not reported in Mexico. The chigger Eutrombicula alfreddugesi is common on wild lizards (Squamata). For the first time, E. alfreddugesi is reported on Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko). This reptile has a close relationship with humans and its chiggers can cause dermatitis (i.e., trombiculiasis) or transmit pathogens. In addition, the common bed bug Cimex lectularius is reported for the first time in the state of Yucatan, an atypical area for its natural distribution. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Cimex lectularius from Yucatan is closely related to genetic sequences of Cimex lectularius from China. Knowing the regional distribution of arthropods allows the design and implementation of prevention strategies for those that have potential roles as reservoirs or vectors.

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