A method for testing the host specificity of ectoparasites: give them the opportunity to choose

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. IBRAG. Departamento de Ecologia. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

Access type:openAccess
Publication Date:2005
Main Author: Esbérard, Carlos E. L.
Other Authors: Martins-Hatano, Fernanda, Bittencourt, Emerson B., Bossi, David E. P., Fontes, Angélica, Lareschi, Marcela, Menezes, Vanderlaine, Bergallo, Helena G., Gettinger, Donald
Document type: Article
Language:eng
Published: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Online Access:https://www.arca.fiocruz.br/handle/icict/33298
Citation:ESBÉRARD, Carlos E. L. et al. A method for testing the host specificity of ectoparasites: give them the opportunity to choose. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, v. 100, n. 7, p. 761-764, Nov. 2005.
English abstract:Host-choice experiments were carried out with rodent and bat ectoparasites on Ilha Grande, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We constructed experimental chambers that enclosed three different rodent or bat host species, and then introduced a selected set of ectoparasitic arthropods. When given the opportunity to choose among host species, the ectoparasites showed a strong tendency to select their primary hosts, and reject novel host species. These kinds of simple experiments can be valuable tools for assessing the ability of ectoparasites to locate and discern differences between host species, and make choices about which hosts to infest, and which hosts to avoid.