Trombiculid mites are known to parasitize a variety of amphibian species, yet few comparisons of mite parasitism among amphibian species have been made. In this study, we investigated patterns of trombiculid mite parasitism among 3 plethodontid salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus, Eurycea cirrigera, and Plethodon cylindraceus) in the western Piedmont of North Carolina. All 3 salamander species were parasitized by a single species, Hannemania dunni. Desmognathus fuscus harbored mites more frequently (60.4% of individuals) than E. cirrigera (11.1%) or P. cylindraceus (14.6%). Desmognathus fuscus also had higher parasite loads than E. cirrigera or P. cylindraceus (P < 0.001). Mites on D. fuscus were found more frequently on the limbs than other body locations (P < 0.001). We found no correlation between salamander size and mite abundance (P = 0.689), but salamander collection sites influenced the abundance of mites on D. fuscus (P = 0.002). We found no effect of season on mite abundance in D. fuscus (P = 0.952). Salamander habitat preferences and edaphic or climatic differences among study sites may influence patterns of Hannemania sp. parasitism of salamanders.
Patterns of Trombiculid Mite (Hannemania dunni) Parasitism among Plethodontid Salamanders in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina
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Marjorie C. Westfall, Kristen K. Cecala, Steven J. Price, Michael E. Dorcas; Patterns of Trombiculid Mite (Hannemania dunni) Parasitism among Plethodontid Salamanders in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina. J Parasitol 1 June 2008; 94 (3): 631–634. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-1260.1
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