The parasite fauna of many Australian rodents is poorly known. The ectoparasite and helminth faunas of Pseudomys delicatulus, Pseudomys desertor, Pseudomys gracilicaudatus, and Pseudomys hermannsburgensis were determined and compared. In total, 12 species of arthropods, 2 cestodes, and 13 nematodes were found. Species richness of parasites was highest in P. hermannsburgensis and lowest in P. desertor. Despite the sampling effort, the number of parasite species discovered did not reach an asymptote for any of the host species, indicating that the full parasite fauna was not examined. Helminth species richness was highest in the insectivorous P. hermannsburgensis and lower in the obligate herbivores. The structure of parasite component communities was influenced by the social structure of the host species, not surprisingly, with the most highly social species having the highest richness of parasites. Habitat preferences also provided contrast between the helminth component communities, with heligmonellid nematodes occurring in damp woodlands and dominating the parasite fauna of P. gracilicaudatus. Oxyurid nematodes dominated the component communities of the 3 other species, all of which inhabit drier habitats.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1