Ectoparasites of Western barred bandicoots
Bennett, M.D., Woolford, L., O'Hara, A.J., Nicholls, P.K., Warren, K.S. and Hobbs, R.P. (2007) Ectoparasites of Western barred bandicoots. In: North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum, 18 - 22 April, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii.
Western barred bandicoots (Perameles bougainville) from five Western Australian colonies were examined during 2006. Bandicoots were trapped or netted, then examined under isoflurane (Isorrane: Baxter Healthcare, Old Toongabbie, NSW, Australia) general anaesthesia. Fleas, ticks and larval trombiculid mites (chiggers) were collected from bandicoots and their handling bags and preserved in ethanol. Chiggers were mounted and cleared in Hoyer’s medium. Fleas were boiled in potassium hydroxide, dehydrated through graded alcohols, cleared in methyl salicylate and mounted with Canada balsam. Ticks were identified using a dissecting microscope. Schoutedenichia emphyla chiggers were found on periscrotal, peripouch and aural skin in many P. bougainville from Dryandra. The ticks Haemaphysalis humerosa and H. ratti were collected from Bernier and Dorre Islands. In all, four flea species have been identified on P. bougainville. Echidnophaga gallinacea and Pygiopsylla tunneyi were common at Heirisson Prong and the Islands colonies, respectively. Xenopsylla vs. vexabilis was occasionally identified on bandicoots from Bernier Island and Heirisson Prong. Leptopsylla segnis and P. tunneyi were found on a bandicoot from Kanyana. No Austrochirus dorreensis (a fur mite) or Haemaphysalis lagostrophi were collected in 2006, despite previous literature reports. Apart from localized dermatitis with chigger infestation and mild blood loss from tick and flea attachment, the significance of ectoparasitism in P. bougainville remains unresolved. The potential role of these ectoparasites as disease vectors is under current investigation. This is the first report of S. emphyla, E. gallinacea, P. tunneyi, Xenopsylla vs. vexabilis and L. segnis in P. bougainville.
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