Factors that affect movement of small mammals include vegetation structure, resource distribution, interspecific interactions and parasitism. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of bot fly (Cuterebra fontinella) parasitism on movement distance [estimated by mean squared distance (MSD)] of white-footed deermice (Peromyscus leucopus), using a repeated measures approach. Although there was no significant effect of infestation on MSD, there was a nonsignificant trend towards increased movement during infestation for females. In addition, there was no difference in MSD between individuals with single infestations and those harboring several larvae. These results are unexpected given the large size of the parasite relative to the host. Studies of fine-scale temporal movements within a single night could shed further light on the effects of infestation on movement.
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Vol. 163 • No. 2