The endoparasite fauna of the eastern rock sengi ( Elephantulus myurus Thomas and Schwann) was studied for the first time for any sengi species from September 2007 until August 2008 in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. From the 121 sengis examined, we recovered 11 endoparasite taxa, including 9 nematodes, 1 cestode family (Hymenolepididae), and 1 pentastomid species ( Armillifer armillatus (Wyman, 1834)). The overall endoparasite prevalence was high, at 100%, and largely attributable to the nematode Maupasina weissi Seurat, 1913 , with only a single individual being parasite free. Despite the high diversity, species richness was low (1.58 ± 0.06) and only M. weissi and spiruroid larvae occurred at a prevalence exceeding 8%. The abundance of M. weissi varied significantly between seasons and was lowest in summer and autumn. In contrast, the abundance of spiruroid larvae remained relatively constant across seasons in males, but was significantly higher in spring and summer compared to winter in females. These patterns may be generated by an accumulation of M. weissi with age as well as sex-specific seasonal shifts in diet. An updated list on the hosts and geographic range of parasites of sengis is provided.
The endoparasite fauna of the spiny mouse ( Acomys spinosissimus ) was studied for the first time from April 2007 until April 2009 in a population from the Limpopo Province of South Africa. In a total of 129 mice examined, only 6 endoparasite taxa were found, 2 nematode species ( Syphacia minuta , Monanema joopi ), 1 genus of cestodes ( Rodentolepis spp.), and unidentified hymenolepidid fragments. In addition, 1 pentastomid species ( Armillifer grandis ) as well as unidentified porocephalid specimens were recovered. The overall prevalence was low, at 15.5%, and only 1 individual harbored more than 1 parasite species. With 12.4% prevalence, S. minuta was the most prevalent parasite. Its prevalence and abundance were significantly higher during the dry and cooler season than during the wet and warm season, while a female-biased burden was observed during the wet season only. For the remaining parasite species, low prevalence prevented meaningful statistical analyses. The observed parasite species richness, prevalence, and abundance for A. spinosissimus were low compared to values reported for other Acomys spp. This may be linked to the lack of anthropogenic influences in the study population as well as the small size of A. spinosissimus .