Abstract

Arthropod symbiotes of the Laotian rock-rat, Laonastes aenigmamus (Rodentia: Diatomyidae), from Laos are examined. This host is a member of Diatomyidae previously thought to have gone extinct >10 million yr ago. Permanent symbiotes are represented by 2 species, a new species of sucking louse, Polyplax sp., near rhizomydis (Phthiraptera: Polyplacidae), and a new species of fur mite, Afrolistrophorus sp., near maculatus (Acariformes: Listrophoridae). The temporary parasites are represented by 18 species, i.e., 1 mesostigmatan species, i.e., a new species of Androlaelaps near casalis (Parasitiformes: Laelapidae); immature stages of 2 tick species, Ixodes granulatus and Haemaphysalis sp. (Parasitiformes: Ixodidae); and a rich fauna of chiggers (Acariformes: Trombiculidae) comprising 8 genera and 15 species. It is hypothesized that this host completely lost its initial fauna of ectosymbiotes and that ancestors of the recorded symbiotes switched to this host from rodents of the superfamily Muroidea.

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