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J Med Entomol. 1992 May;29(3):507-11.

Ectoparasitic mites (Acari) of sympatric Brazilian free-tailed bats and big brown bats in Alabama.

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  • 1Department of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD 21702.


Seven species of mites were recovered from 133 Brazilian free-tailed bats, Tadarida brasiliensis, and 94 big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, from February through November 1990 in colonies that shared roosting space in east-central Alabama. The macronyssid Chiroptonyssus robustipes (Ewing) was the most common mite on T. brasiliensis (964 mites, 87% of bats infested) and on E. fuscus (109 mites, 29% of bats infested). However, C. rubustipes normally is a specific parasite of T. brasiliensis. The macronyssids Steatonyssus ceratognathus (Ewing) and S. occidentalis (Ewing) were recovered from both species of bats in low numbers. S. ceratognathus is not a typical parasite of either species of bat, but S. occidentalis normally is specific to E. fuscus. Predictably, S. occidentalis was most frequently collected from E. fuscus (16 mites, 9% of bats infested), but two specimens were recovered from T. brasiliensis. Five specimens of the laelapid Androlaelaps casalis (Berlese) (a mite that is frequently associated with rodents) and one specimen of the myobiid mite Ewingana (Doreyana) longa (Ewing) (a specific ectoparasite of T. brasiliensis) were also recovered from T. brasiliensis. Singletons of the rosensteiniids Mydopholeus sp. and Nycteriglyphites pennsylvanicus Fain, Lukoschus & Whitaker were the only additional mites collected from E. fuscus; both of these mites have previously been collected from bats or their guano but are recorded here from Alabama for the first time. With respect to ectoparasite cross-infestations, E. fuscus appears to be at greater risk from sharing roots with T. brasiliensis. This is highlighted by the comparatively large numbers of C. robustipes that occurred on E. fuscus and the low numbers of S. occidentalis on T. brasiliensis. Although mites were the only arthropods recovered from bats in this study, a separate survey in 1991 revealed that the bat bug Cimex adjunctus Barber infested some other colonies of T. brasiliensis and E. fuscus in Alabama.

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