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1 December 2004 ECTOPARASITE AND HEMOPARASITE INFECTION IN A DIVERSE TEMPERATE LIZARD ASSEMBLAGE AT MACRAES FLAT, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
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Abstract

A lizard assemblage at Macraes Flat, New Zealand, comprising the common skinks Oligosoma maccanni and Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma, the endangered species Oligosoma grande and Oligosoma otagense, and the common gecko Hoplodactylus maculatus, was studied to determine the prevalence of ectoparasites and hemoparasites. The mites Odontacarus lygosomae and Ophionyssus scincorum infected all Oligosoma spp. only, and the mite Neotrombicula naultini infected only H. maculatus. The hemoparasite Hepatozoon lygosomarum infected all Oligosoma skinks, except O. n. polychroma. Oligosoma otagense had the highest infection levels of all parasites by several orders of magnitude. For all lizard species, there was no difference in mite prevalence between adult males and adult females, but juveniles were less often infected. For all skink species, there was a significant relationship between presence of the hemoparasite He. lygosomarum and infection intensity of the supposed vector, O. scincorum. It is unclear if patterns of parasite infection reflect species-specific susceptibility, host–parasite species-specific spatial ecology, or environmentally induced host physiological impairment. Considering the threatened nature of O. otagense, evidence of high parasitemia should stimulate further investigation.

James T. Reardon* and Grant Norbury "ECTOPARASITE AND HEMOPARASITE INFECTION IN A DIVERSE TEMPERATE LIZARD ASSEMBLAGE AT MACRAES FLAT, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND," Journal of Parasitology 90(6), 1274-1278, (1 December 2004). https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-3326
Received: 29 September 2003; Accepted: 1 March 2004; Published: 1 December 2004
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