Parasitology Research

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 117–125 | Cite as

Fennoscandian distribution of an important parasite of cervids, the deer ked (Lipoptena cervi), revisited

  • Panu VälimäkiEmail author
  • Knut Madslien
  • Jonas Malmsten
  • Laura Härkönen
  • Sauli Härkönen
  • Arja Kaitala
  • Raine Kortet
  • Sauli Laaksonen
  • Reidar Mehl
  • Lisa Redford
  • Hannu Ylönen
  • Bjørnar Ytrehus
Original Paper


The deer ked [Lipoptena cervi (L. 1758) (Dipt., Hippoboscidae)] is a blood-sucking ectoparasite of cervids. The species has been resident in Sweden for more than two centuries, whereas in Finland (≈50 years) and Norway (≈30 years), it has established itself relatively recently. L. cervi may cause serious health problems in its natural hosts, act as a vector for zoonotic diseases, and pose a socioeconomic threat to forest-based activity. In this paper, we review the distribution and former expansion of the species in Fennoscandia. The current distribution of L. cervi appears bimodal, and the geographical range expansion of the species shows notable differences across Fennoscandia. The western population in Norway and Sweden has its northern edge of range at respective latitudes of 61° N and 62° N, whereas the eastern population in Finland reaches 65° N. The future expansion of L. cervi is dependent on several interdependent extrinsic and intrinsic factors. International multidisciplinary collaboration is needed to achieve a synthesis on the factors affecting expansion rates and to understand the effects of L. cervi on wildlife, human health, and the rural societies of Fennoscandia.


Western Population Eastern Population Moose Population National Veterinary Institute Wild Reindeer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the staff at the Research Centre of Friendship Park, all volunteers who have participated in data collecting, and L. Huldén for giving access to the Finnish Atlas Data. We also acknowledge Dr. Preben Ottesen and his staff at the Department of Pest Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Dr. Edgar Brun and his staff at the Section for Epidemiology at the National Veterinary Institute of Norway for their contributions in establishing and running The study was financed by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation (grant to AK), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Ella och Georg Ehrnroots Stiftelse (grant to LH), and the National Health Surveillance Program for Cervids (HOP) in Norway.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panu Välimäki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Knut Madslien
    • 2
  • Jonas Malmsten
    • 3
  • Laura Härkönen
    • 1
  • Sauli Härkönen
    • 4
  • Arja Kaitala
    • 1
  • Raine Kortet
    • 5
  • Sauli Laaksonen
    • 6
  • Reidar Mehl
    • 7
  • Lisa Redford
    • 8
    • 9
  • Hannu Ylönen
    • 10
  • Bjørnar Ytrehus
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Section for Wildlife DiseasesNational Veterinary InstituteOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Wildlife DiseasesNational Veterinary InstituteUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Metsästäjäin keskusjärjestöHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of BiologyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  6. 6.Fish and Wildlife Health Research UnitFinnish Food Safety AuthorityOuluFinland
  7. 7.Armed Forces Medical ServicesInstitute of MicrobiologyOsloNorway
  8. 8.HaganNorway
  9. 9.School of BiologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneEngland
  10. 10.Konnevesi Research Station, Department of Biological and Environmental ScienceUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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