Hides of nine elk, collected during the winter of 1986–1987 from the National Elk Refuge, Wyoming (USA) were examined for ectoparasites. Parasites recovered were mites, Psoroptes sp. (five elk); lice, Solenopotes ferrisi and Bovicola (Bovicola) longicornis (seven elk); and winter ticks, Dermacentor albipictus (nine elk). Three elk with severe scabies had an estimated 0.6 × 106, 3.8 × 106 and 6.5 × 106 mites, respectively. Densities of mites were much higher in skin regions with severe dermatitis. Skin lesions on elk with scabies consisted of dense, often moist, scabs extending along the dorsal and lateral thoracic regions of the body. Lesions attributed to winter ticks consisted of broken hair and alopecia on the dorsal portion of the lower neck, often extending in a “collar” around the neck.
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Vol. 27 • No. 3