Only a single previous study has examined ectoparasites of the occult bat (Myotis occultus), from which only 2 species of fleas were identified. For our study, we examined 202 individuals, 52 fresh hosts and 150 museum specimens, from New Mexico and southern Colorado for ectoparasites. We recorded 2158 ectoparasites, 634 from fresh hosts and 1524 from museum specimens. Ectoparasites belonged to 10 families and 13 genera of insect or acari and represent new host and locality records. In general, ectoparasites collected from fresh hosts and museum specimens were represented by 4 major species of mite: Macronyssus crosbyi, Alabidocarpus calcaratus, Acanthophthirius lucifugus, and Alabidocarpus nr. eptesicus. From our study, we found fresh hosts to have significantly greater prevalence values for Myodopsylla gentilis (flea), Chiroptonyssus robustipes (mite), and Leptotrombidium myotis (chigger), whereas museum specimens had significantly greater prevalence values for A. calcaratus (mite) and A. nr. eptesicus (mite). There were no significant differences between prevalence values for 4 mites including M. crosbyi, A. lucifugus, Pteracarus nr. minutus, and Cryptonyssus sp. Our study represents the only extensive study of ectoparasites on M. occultus and provides evidence for the importance of examining fresh hosts and museum specimens in future ectoparasite studies.
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Vol. 69 • No. 3