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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 100, No. 7, 2005, pp. 761-764
Bioline Code: oc05160
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 100, No. 7, 2005, pp. 761-764

 en A method for testing the host specificity of ectoparasites: give them the opportunity to choose
Carlos EL Esbérard; Fernanda Martins-Hatano; Emerson B Bittencourt; David EP Bossi; Angélica Fontes; Marcela Lareschi; Vanderlaine Menezes; Helena G Bergallo & Donald Gettinger


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.

ectoparasites - host-specificity - experiments - small mammals - neotropics

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