Arthropods infesting small mammals (Insectivora and Rodentia) near Cedar Point Biological Station in southwestern Nebraska.

Lindsey Howell, Katelyn Jelden, Elizabeth Rácz, Scott L. Gardner, Donald Gettinger

Abstract


Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS) is located in the mixed grass prairie of the central Great Plains, at the transition between the subregions known as the “tall grass” and “short grass” prairies. Adding to the habitat diversity, there are wetlands and riparian habitats associated with the North Platte River and the edge of the Sandhills region of north central Nebraska. This concurrence of habitats supports a diverse small mammal community. The purpose of this paper is to assemble all published information on ectoparasites associated with small mammals (Insectivora, Rodentia) of southwestern Nebraska, and to report the results of an intensive survey carried out by students of the Parasitology fi eld course during two summers at CPBS. In 2012 and 2013, 27 species of mammal-associated arthropods were collected, including fi ve species of sucking lice (Anoplura), a chewing louse (Ischnocera), six species of fl eas (Siphonaptera), thirteen species of mesostigmatic mites (Laelapidae, Macronyssidae, Macrochelidae), and two species of metastigmatic ticks (Ixodidae). These specimens were brushed from the pelage of 11 species of small mammals that were captured in a variety of habitats around CPBS. The arthropod list includes 17 new records for the State of Nebraska. This collection is housed in the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology (HWML), University of Nebraska State Museum, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and serves as a taxonomic base for our continued efforts to establish a long-term catalog of parasites associated with small mammals in southwestern Nebraska.

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