2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference


Ectoparasites of a North Central Missouri Bat Community
Peggy S. Luensmann♦
Dr. Scott Burt, Faculty Mentor

Little is known about aspects of the natural history of bats especially with regard to the relationship between the bats and their ectoparasites. Their nocturnal arboreal habits make them difficult to observe. Ectoparasite data were collected from 163 bats captured at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge during July and August 2003. Differences in parasite composition and parasite load among bat species, sex, roosting behavior, and age were compared. I also examined parasite site preferences on the bats. Seven species of bats from 5 genera were collected. Parasites collected from the bats include mites, ticks, bedbugs, fleas, and chiggers, totaling 13 species. Parasite loads were found to be lowest in bats that are solitary roosters and highest for individuals roosting in large colonies. Also, females tend to harbor more parasites than males. Juveniles also carry more parasites on average than either adults or subadults. These differences are likely due to the amount of contact bats have with one another.

Keywords: bats, ectoparasites, Swan Lake NWR


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 10-2
Location: VH 1432
Time: 8:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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