Abstract

We compared parasite load (prevalence and mean intensity) of Eutrombicula alfreddugesi larvae on the lizard Liolaemus tenuis sampled during January 2006 and 2007 from the interior and edges of large forest tracts in the coastal Maulino Forest (35°59′S, 72°41′W) and from nearby forest fragments (1.5–20 ha). All lizards were parasitized by chiggers regardless of location (prevalence, 100%); however, mean intensity of infestation was significantly lower at forest fragment edges compared with either large forest interiors or forest edges. We attribute differences in mean intensity to differences in microclimate among localities; maximum air temperature was significantly higher and relative humidity significantly lower in fragment edges compared with either large forest tract interior or edges.

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