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Increased prevalence of bot flies (Cuterebra fontinella) on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) near forest edges

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Several studies have suggested that forest edge is preferred habitat for white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Because previous research has shown that parasitism by bot flies (Cuterebra fontinella) is higher in open areas than in woodlands, lower rates of infestation at woodland edges could partly explain the greater preference for woodland edges by the mice. We recorded the prevalence and load of bot fly larvae in mice trapped along edge-to-interior gradients in four forested areas in east-central Illinois. At all sites the prevalence of bot flies (the proportion of infected adult mice) was greatest near the edge (less than 50 m from the woodland margin), which should reduce, not improve, the quality of edge microhabitats. Mating bot flies tend to congregate in open areas, and the higher prevalence of parasitism by bot flies near the forest edge may reflect the greater penetration of light there than in the interior.

Plusieurs études indiquent que les bordures des forêts comptent parmi les habitats préférés de la Souris à pattes blanches (Peromyscus leucopus). Des recherches antérieures ont démontré que le parasitisme des cutérèbres (Cuterebra fontinella) est plus important dans les zones ouvertes que dans les boisés; les taux d'infestation plus faibles aux abords des boisés expliquent peut-être en partie la préférence des souris pour les bordures. Nous avons noté la fréquence et le nombre de larves de cutérèbres chez des souris le long de gradients, de la bordure vers l'intérieur, en quatre zones forestières du centre-est de l'Illinois. À tous les sites, la prévalence des cutérèbres (pourcentage de souris adultes infectées) s'est avérée plus élevée près des bordures (moins de 50 m) ce qui devrait diminuer et non pas augmenter la qualité des microhabitats de bordure. Les rassemblements de cutérèbres au moment de la reproduction se font surtout en terrain ouvert et la prévalence plus grande des cutérèbres près des bordures des boisés est peut-être le reflet d'une plus grande pénétration de la lumière en bordure qu'à l'intérieur des zones boisées.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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