From February 1998 to January 1999, 106 red deer in the Autonomic Organism National Park “Quintos de Mora” (Toledo, central Spain) were evaluated to determine the prevalence and dynamics of infection with Hypoderma sp. by detection of subcutaneous larvae. Between six and 13 deer shot in selective hunting were examined monthly. Hypoderma sp. larvae were detected throughout the period except in June, July and August of 1998. Excluding the period during which no subcutaneous larvae were detected, the number of animals sampled was 80 (52 males and 28 females), belonging to three age classes: 12 calves (<1-yr-old), 19 yearlings (1-yr-old), and 49 adults (2- to 10-yr-old). All the third instar (L3) collected were identified as H. actaeon. Total prevalence during the period of larval detection was 61%. Prevalence in yearling and adult deer shot during the official hunting season was 89%. Monthly prevalence increased from September to January and decreased from February to May. In September and October, a small percentage of larvae were classified as first instar (L1). The rest of larvae collected between September and December were second instar (L2). Third instar (L3) predominated in January and February and was the only stage collected from March to May. Intensity ranged from 1 to 145 larvae. Intensities were >100 larvae in 6% of animals. Possible relationships of intensity or prevalence of infection with sex or age of the animals were evaluated. Significant differences in prevalence were observed among different host age classes. Prevalence was higher in yearlings (84%) than in adults (63%) and lowest in calves (17%).
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Vol. 37 • No. 2