We investigated the ectoparasitic mite loads (Macronyssus: Macronyssidae: Acarina) on 2 species of flat-headed bats, Tylonycteris pachypus and T. robustula (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in 2 counties of Guangxi Province, southern China, from 2002 to 2005. In Longzhou County both species of bat occur sympatrically, but only T. pachypus occurs in Ningming County. Individuals of the smaller species (T. pachypus) harbored significantly more mites than did those of T. robustula. In both species males harbored more mites than nonreproductive females, pregnant females had more mites than lactating and nonreproductive females, and juveniles harbored more mites than adults. Mite load on both species of bats showed significant seasonal variation, declining from spring to winter. No correlation was found between mite load and size of the host colony. We discuss our findings in relation to the ecology and biology of both hosts and parasites.
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Vol. 91 • No. 1