Host associations of ectoparasites of the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, in Northwestern Madagascar
Eight species of ectoparasites were collected during 225 gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (J. F. Miller), captures, in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, in 2010-2011. The ixodid tick, Haemaphysalis lemuris Hoogstraal, was the most common ectoparasite and was mostly represented by nymphs. Other ectoparasites recorded include the polyplacid sucking louse, Lemurpediculus madagascariensis Durden, Kessler, Radespiel, Zimmermann, Hasiniaina, and Zohdy; the ixodid tick, Haemaphysalis simplex Neumann; an undescribed laelapid mite in the genus Aetholaelaps; another laelapid belonging to the genus Androlaelaps; the chigger mite Schoutedenichia microcebi Stekolnikov; an undescribed species of atopomelid mite in the genus Listrophoroides; and an undescribed species of psoroptid mite in the genus Cheirogalalges. Except for the 2 species of ticks and 1 species of chigger, these ectoparasites may be host-specific to M. murinus. Total tick (H. lemuris and H. simplex) infestation was significantly greater in August than October, whereas louse (L. madagascariensis) infestation was significantly greater in October. There was no significant difference in tick infestations between male and female lemurs, but male lemurs had significantly more lice than female lemurs. Reproductive status was not a significant predictor of tick infestation in males and females.