Helminths are reported for the first time from ermines (Mustela erminea) and martens (Martes americana) in Washington (USA). Among 22 adult ermines, 41% were infected by one or more of five species (Taenia mustelae, Alaria mustelae, Molineus patens, M. mustelae and Trichinella spiralis). Among 78 adult martens from three geographic localities, the prevalence was 83%. Nine species were identified (Mesocestoides sp., T. mustelae and T. martis americana, Euryhelmis squamula, M. patens, Baylisascaris devosi, Physaloptera sp., Soboliphyme baturini and T. spiralis). Trichinella spiralis occurred with a maximum prevalence of 50% in martens, but only occurred in 9% of ermines. Compression and digestion techniques provided a similar estimate of prevalence of T. spiralis, yet neither was entirely accurate in identifying all infected hosts. The species richness of the helminth community of martens in Washington was greater than that reported from other regions of North America.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4