We evaluated the influence of temperature, rainfall, and host relative abundance on Rogenhofera bonaerensis (Diptera, Cuterebridae) parasitism prevalence in shrubland mouse (Akodon molinae) populations in central Argentina, from February 1983 to December 1987. Parasitism did not vary significantly with host age: juvenile-subadults (32%), adults (26%), and old adults (29%). Females were more frequently parasitized (36%) than were males (20%). There was no correlation between parasitism and reproductive activity. Infested hosts were recorded most commonly in summer (January to March, 19%), and in fall (April to June, 30%). During the dry season, July through November, cuterebrid parasitism averaged only 3%. The monthly prevalence of parasitism throughout the year was not associated either with monthly precipitation nor with mean monthly temperature at the time of sampling. But a 2 to 3 month time-lag effect of both climatic variables on parasitism was recorded. Bot fly prevalence was correlated to an index of host density. We propose climate and host availability as important factors affecting bot fly parasitism in the semiarid shrubland of central Argentina.
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Vol. 28 • No. 4