Submitted to: Comparative Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Biodiversity survey and inventory is the cornerstone for understanding geographic distribution, host association and patterns of disease caused by internal and external parasites. We conducted the first survey of parasites in white-tailed deer in Costa Rica and report the first records of parasites in this ruminant from Central America; 7 species of arthropods and 8 species of helminths were collected. Significantly, among these was a new species of Ashworthius, representing a group of pathogenic abomasal nematodes that had not been identified previously in the Western Hemisphere. The occurrence of this species could reflect recent introduction of an exotic parasite, or may be indicative of the general paucity of knowledge currently available for parasite faunas in ruminants. Parasitological survey of wild ruminant hosts promotes identification of endemic versus introduced and exotic helminths, a basis for identifying emergent and invasive parasites, elucidation of the interaction between deer and cattle, and ultimately the potential for exchange of parasites across the interface of agricultural and natural ecosystems.
Technical Abstract: Parasites were collected from two female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the Area de Conservaci¢n Guanacaste, Costa Rica in late May and early June, 1999. Both deer were parasitized by the ticks Amblyomma parvum and Haemaphysalis juxtakochi as well as the hippoboscid Lipoptena mazamae. One deer also hosted the ticks Boophilus microplus, Ixodes affinis, and Anocentor nitens. Both deer were infected by larvae of the nasopharyngeal botfly Cephenemyia jellisoni, and the helminths Eucyathostomum webbi, Gongylonema pulchrum, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, and Paramphistomum liorchis whereas Setaria yehi, an undescribed species of Ashworthius, and Onchocerca cervipedis occurred in single hosts. A cysticercus of Taenia omissa was found encapsulated in the lung parenchyma of one host. This is the first report of these endoparasites from Central America.