Date of Award
Master of Science
Michael L Kennedy
Lewis B Coons
Rebecca T Trout Fryxell
Relationships of ectoparasiteson small-mammal hosts from hardwood forest, pine forest, and grass/forb habitats at The Hobart Ames Plantation in southwestern Tennessee were investigated. Five rodent species (Peromyscus leucopus, Sigmodon hispidus, P. maniculatus, Microtus pinetorum, and Ochrotomys nuttalli) were captured and examined for ectoparasites. Ectoparasites (Amblomma maculatum, A. americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, Xenopsylla cheopis, Orchopeas howardii) were collected from the rodents and screened for the presence of Rickettsia, a spotted fever group bacterium. Analyses yielded neutral interspecific relationships between D. variabilis and I. scapularis on the rodent host P. leucopus, statistically significant relationships between tick burden and sex, age, and weight of rodent hosts, and no significant association of Rickettsia-positive ectoparasites with host habitat. Tick burden increased as host weight increased; subadult females had the highest average tick burden, while subadult males had the lowest. Although not statistically significant, smaller rodents were more likely to have Rickettsia-postiive ectoparasites.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Butler, Rebecca, "An Ecological Assessment of Ectoparasites on Rodents" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1979.