Mammalian carnivores may be important to the dynamics of many vector-borne zoonotic diseases, yet relationships between carnivores and their ectoparasites are largely unstudied. I sampled striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in Boulder County, Colorado, U.S.A., to determine how prevalence, abundance, and species assemblages of fleas vary by habitat association. I found that skunks sampled from foothills habitats carry significantly richer flea species assemblages than those sampled in grassland habitats, though flea prevalence, abundance, and mean intensity did not differ statistically between habitat types. Skunks in both habitat types were most commonly parasitized by fleas of the genus Pulex. Skunks from foothills habitats were also found to carry fleas typically associated with rodents, including Oropsylla montana, Anomiopsyllus nudatus, and Orchopeas neotomae, whereas skunks sampled in grassland habitats did not carry rodent fleas. Given that striped skunks may be involved in maintenance and transmission of several flea-borne diseases, it is important to understand how the flea species assemblages of striped skunks vary depending on habitat association.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.