, Volume 112, Issue 5, pp 1967-1972

Analysis of gamasid mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) associated with the Asian house rat, Rattus tanezumi (Rodentia: Muridae) in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

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Abstract

During a survey lasting from 1990 to 2008, we captured 4,113 Asian house rats, Rattus tanezumi Temminck 1844 (Rodentia: Muridae) from 28 counties of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China. From these rats, a total of 19,304 gamasid mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) were collected and identified as comprising 50 different species. The species diversity of gamasid mites from this single rat species is higher than that reported previously from multiple hosts within a given geographical region. Of the 50 mite species, 31 species belonged to ectoparasites and 19 species belonged to free-living mites. The species diversity of the mites from rats trapped outdoors was much higher than from rats trapped indoors. The parameter K from the negative binomial distribution was used to measure the spatial distribution patterns of the dominant mite species and revealed that all the mites had an aggregated distribution among the rat hosts. Most mite species showed a predominantly female-biased population structure with many more females than males.