Factors affecting parasitism of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) by a host-specific botfly (Cuterebra fontinella)

Diven, Melissa A.
Jon Atwood, PhD
Department of Environmental Studies
A total of 2,169 adult white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were uniquely marked during a five-year study in western Massachusetts, including 1,418 individuals that were captured two or more times within each season. Annual infestation of mice by parasitic botflies (Cuterebra fontinella) ranged from 4-68%. There was significant variation among years in number of botflies per mouse, with counts ranging from 0-8. Male mice were captured more frequently than females in each year. There was no significant difference between the sexes in frequency of parasitism or in distance moved between captures. There was also no significant relationship between the number of botflies found in mice (sexes combined) and maximum distances between capture sites.

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