Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 367–377 | Cite as

Parasite-host interactions of bat flies (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea) in Brazilian tropical dry forests

  • Pedro Fonseca de Vasconcelos
  • Luiz Alberto Dolabela Falcão
  • Gustavo Graciolli
  • Magno Augusto Zazá Borges
Original Paper


Studies on the parasitology of ectoparasitic bat flies are scarce, and they are needed to identify patterns in parasitism. Hence, in the present study, we assessed community composition, prevalence, average infestation intensity, and specificity in the fly-bat associations in Brazilian tropical dry forests. In order to do that, we used the parasitological indices known as prevalence and average infestation intensity, along with an index of host specificity. We collected 1098 bat flies of 38 species. Five of the associations found are new to Brazil, 9 are new to southeastern Brazil, and 10 are new to science. Average infestation intensity varied from 1 to 9 and prevalence 0 to 100 %. In terms of specificity, 76 % of the bat flies were associated to a single host (monoxenic). These results highlight the low capacity of bat flies to survive on a not usual host especially due to an immunological incompatibility between parasites and hosts and dispersal barriers.


Streblidae Nycteribiidae Chiroptera Specificity Ectoparasitic 



The authors thank M. F. Fonseca for help during fieldwork and R. S. L. Garro for data base of bat flies from Mata Seca State Park. We gratefully acknowledge the staff of the InstitutoEstadual de Florestas (IEF-MG) and Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade for logistical support. This work was carried out with the aid of grants from Conselho Nacional de DesenvolvimentoCientífico e Tecnológico (CNPq - 563304/2010-3), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG CRA - APQ-00001-11) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI-CRN II-021). P. F. V and L. A. D. F acknowledge scholarships from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). This study was in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Msc degree of P. F. Vat the University of Montes Claros (Unimontes).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Fonseca de Vasconcelos
    • 1
  • Luiz Alberto Dolabela Falcão
    • 2
  • Gustavo Graciolli
    • 3
  • Magno Augusto Zazá Borges
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Laboratório de Controle BiológicoMontes ClarosBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Biologia GeralBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul,Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde,Coleção Zoológica.Campo GrandeBrazil

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