parasitism

Rodent Parasite Data for the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1990-1998)

Abstract: 

The 100,000 ha Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in central New Mexico lies in a transition zone that straddles several major biomes of the Southwest, including Great Basin Shrub-Steppe, Mogollon Pinon-Juniper Woodland, Great Plains Grassland and Chihuahuan Desert. During 9 years, (1990-1998), collaborating with the University of New Mexico's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, 3,235 rodents (28 species in 4 families) were collected and identified from permanent collecting sites on the 3 major habitat types (grassland, desert/creosote, woodland) on the SNWR. Hosts were necropsied for endoparasites (protozoa [coccidia], helminths) and some ectoparasites. We identified and analyzed all the parasites found in these hosts. By 1998, we had in place the means to easily identify and moniter the parasites from all mammalian hosts caught on the LTER Phase II grant.

This is not just another parasite survey; the data we collected was unique for several reasons: 1) This was the first complete inventory of a natural assemblage of parasites from all mammalian (rodent) hosts in 3 different communities, each from a distinctly defined geographic locality (habitat type) over the period of a decade, and beyond; 2) This study was part of a multidisciplinary approach to address conceptual issues of climate change on ecosystem structure and function at multiple scales (individuals, communities, etc) and correlative data from these related studies will strengthen and contribute to the robustness of this data set; 3) As the only parasite study on any of the LTER projects nationwide, it provided an ideal model, and perhaps incentive for parallel longterm studies of parasite communities to be examined in a variety of other habitat types, and from a variety of different perspectives, and other LTER sites in the network.

Upon completing the work, we were able to use these long-term data to try to understand the dynamics of natural host-parasite assemblages. Hypotheses were then erected to test/address at least these questions: How do the different parasite communities colonize, mature, climax and senesce over time (or do they?), Do they vary in response to abiotic (climate change) and/or biotic (dispersal, colonization) factors? What temporal and spatial scales, and among what kinds of organisms, do coevolutionary processes influence the community organization of these parasites? Studies of the dynamics of multiple, coexisting species are confined primarily to microtine rodents and have hinted that multiannual cycles tend to be synchronous (Brown and Heske 1990). Are similar patterns seen for the parasites of our desert rodents? Answers to these questions relating to community structure, as well as to questions concerning parasite biodiversity on the SNWR, can be answered paritially or completely by the information we gathered on the parasite species infecting rodents collected on the SNWR. Initial emphasis of our work was on identifying all the parasites collected, by processing 8 consecutive years of parasite data, and on training the undergraduate and graduate students involved in the art of taxonomy and nomenclature of parasitic protozoans and helminths,  to supply some of these answers.

Data set ID: 

13

Core Areas: 

Keywords: 

Data sources: 

sev013_rodentparasite_20130818.txt

Methods: 

Web Trapping Design

Small mammal densities were estimated by utilizing the following web design: Within each location 5 webs are established. Each web contains 12 100 m transects radiating from a central point in spoke-like fashion. Pieces of rebar, placed vertically in the ground, are used to mark the location and maintain permanency of trap placement, and each rebar is numbered (1-145). Four Sherman traps (model XLF15 and SFAL, H.B. Sherman Traps, Tallahassee, FL) are placed around the center stake of the web (numbered 145) and 12 traps are placed along each of the 12 spokes of the web, the first 4 at 5 m intervals and the remaining 8 placed at 10 m intervals. Trap number 1 is on the spoke facing due north and radiating out from the  center to trap number 12; the remaining 11 spokes follow with successive numbers increasing in a clockwise fashion. Traps are placed adjacent to rebar or in the nearest shaded area found within a 1 m radius from that rebar. The webs in any habitat type are seperated from each other by distances ranging from 100-600 m.

Web Description

At each habitat location, 2 webs are designated as "removal" webs. The other 3 webs are "mark-and-recapture" webs. Each web is numbered from 1 to 5. The following is a list of each web number at each site:

Sepultura Canyon removal:
web 2
web 5

Sepultrua Canyon mark-and-recapture:
web 1
web 3
web 4

Five Points Grassland removal:
web 1: 1060 43' 30.9533" W, 340 20' 6.6669" N
web 4: 1060 43' 13.2383" W, 340 20' 10.3392" N

Five Points Grassland mark-and-recapture:
web 2: 1060 43' 19.5235" W, 340 20' 18.0169" N
web 3: 1060 43' 5.6546" W, 340 20' 17.6016" N
web 5: 1060 43' 20.5284" W, 340 20' 3.3414" N

Five Points Larrea removal:
web 2: 1060 43' 56.5134" W, 340 19' 52.0534" N
web 4: 1060 44' 21.5012" W, 340 20' 3.0532" N

Five Points Larrea mark-and-recapture:
web 1: 1060 43' 44.5722" W, 340 19' 50.1725" N
web 3: 1060 44' 11.5427" W, 340 19' 59.6857" N
web 5: 1060 44' 31.7639" W, 340 20' 4.0357" N

Rio Salado Grassland removal:
web 2: 1060 55' 54.3702" W, 340 17' 39.4343" N
web 3: 1060 56' 9.5089" W, 340 17' 28.8966" N

Rio Salado Grassland mark-and-recapture:
web 1: 1060 55' 44.2188" W, 340 17' 41.6938" N
web 4: 1060 55' 58.7518" W, 340 17' 29.7131" N
web 5: 1060 55' 47.9346" W, 340 17' 30.0713" N

Rio Salado Larrea removal:
web 1: 1060 55' 25.7955" W, 340 17' 42.1532" N
web 3: 1060 54' 15.3606" W, 340 17' 18.5052" N

Rio Salado Larrea mark-and-recapture:
web 2: 1060 55' 16.9269" W, 340 17' 39.8632" N
web 4: 1060 54' 16.0466" W, 340 17' 9.6752" N
web 5: 1060 54' 18.5054" W, 340 17' 1.6667" N

Two-twenty-two removal:
web 2: 1070 02' 7.2931" W, 340 25' 13.8862" N
web 3: 1070 01' 45.1839" W, 340 25' 5.4165" N

Two-twenty-two mark-and-recapture:
web 1: 1070 01' 36.5102" W, 340 25' 12.5298" N
web 4: 1070 01' 36.5047" W, 340 25' 0.8576" N
web 5: 1070 01' 57.2927" W, 340 25' 6.1467" N

Trapping Times

The season of 1990 was divided into 2 trapping periods: 1 (early summer) and 2 (late summer).

period 1: 22 May - 28 June
period 2: 10 July - 15 August

Locations were trapped in the same order for each period, as follows:
1. Sepultura Canyon (septulur)
2. Five Points Grassland (5pgrass)
3. Five Points Larrea (5plarrea)
4. Rio Salado Larrea (rslarrea)
5. Rio Salado Grassland (rsgrass)
6. Two-twenty-two (two22) currently: Ladron Foothills

Collection Procedures:

Mark-and-recapture webs

A small handful of rolled oats is placed into each trap, with an additional small amount of oats placed outside the trap door when it is set in the evening. Animals caught the next morning are removed from traps by forcefully dumping them into plastic bags; this allows one to orient the animal and get a good grip on it for identification and measurement. Each animal is then identified to species and weighed to the nearest gram using a pesola scale. Body, tail, foot, and ear measurments are taken to the nearest millimeter using a plastic ruler. Reproductive status is determined by examining the genitalia. Each animal is sexed, aged (juvenile/adult) and marked. Marking is done with a Sharpie permanent marker on each animal on the first night's capture for that individual. The animals are then placed back into their traps and released at the exact site of capture after which the traps are rebaited.

Removal webs

Removal traps are checked and rebaited as the mark-and-recapture traps. All closed traps are checked to insure they contained small mammals (other animals such as birds and reptiles are released); each trap is marked with the web and trap number and then removed from the web and replaced with an empty a trap. The animals are then brought back to the laboratory to be processed.

Below is the species list of all the small mammals caught on the 6 trapping sites. Each species is given a four letter field code, usually consisting of the first 2 leters of the genus and the first 2 leters of the specific names. Measurements made in the field and laboratory for each species also are listed:

1. BL: body length

2. TL: tail length

3. HF: hind foot length

4. EL: ear length


The species and their measurements are as follows:

anim: Ammospermophilus interpres measurements: none
amle: Ammospermophilus leucurus measurements: none
chin: Chaetodipus intermedius measurements: none
clga: Clethrionomys gapperi measurements: ?
dior: Dipodomys ordi measurements: none
dime: Dipodomys merriami measurements: none
disp: Dipodomys spectabilis measurements: none
euqu: Eutamias quadrivittatus measurements: none
eudo: Eutamias dorsalis measurements: none
euci: Eutamias cinereicollis measurements: none
eusp: Eutamias species measurements: none
mime: Microtus mexicanus measurements: ?
neal: Neotoma albigula measurements: none
neme: Neotoma mexicana measurements: none
nemi: Neotoma micropus measurements: none
nest: Neotoma stephensi measurements: none
nesp: Neotoma species measurements: none
onar: Onychomys arenicola measurements: BL, TL
onle: Onychomys leucogaster measurements: BL, TL
onsp: Onychomys species measurements: BL, TL
pgfv: Perognathus flavus measurements: BL, TL
pgfl: Perognathus flavescens measurements: BL, TL
pgsp: Perognathus species measurements: BL, TL
pmbo: Peromyscus boylii measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmdi: Peromyscus difficilis measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmer: Peromyscus eremicus measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmle: Peromyscus leucopus measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmma: Peromyscus maniculatus measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmtr: Peromyscus truei measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
pmsp: Peromyscus species measurements: BL, TL, HF, EL
remg: Reithrodontomys megalotis measurements: BL, TL
remo: Reithrodontomys montanus measurements: BL, TL
resp: Reithrodontomys species measurements: BL, TL
spsp: Spermophilus spilosoma measurements: none
spva: Spermophilus variagatus measurements: none
syau: Sylvilagus auduboni measurements: none

Laboratory Procedures:

When animals are brought back to the field station, each is given an NK (New Mexico Karyotype) number and then killed by accepted and approved procedures. The animal is immediatedly removed from the jar and brushed for ectoparasites using a toothbrush. Any ectoparasites found are placed into a small vial (Wheaton, 4 ml) with 70 0.000000E+00tOH and a label with its NK number. The host is then given to the mammalogists for identification, measurement, collection of tissues for electrophoresis, etc. (see mammal procedures). Once the carcass is returned, an incision is made in the abdomen beginning just above the genital area and ending just below the thoracic cavity. The entire gastrointestinal tract is removed by cutting the esophagusjust anterior to the stomach and the colon just anterior to the anus. The GI tract is then placed into a Petri dish with a small amount of water (to keep it moist); it is then untangled and the mesentary is removed. Fecal pellets are then removed from the colon and placed into a Wheaton vial (20 ml) containing 2138ebcotassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) and the host's NK number. The stomach is then removed by cutting the pyloric sphincter. The stomach is then cut open by making a lateral incision along the length of the stomach after which the contents are emptied into a sieve (40mesh) and rinsed with tap water. The remaining material is placed back into a clean Petri dish and surveyed for parasites using a dissecting scope. The small intestine (duodenum, ileum, jejunum) is dissected in a clean Petri dish making a longitudinal incision along the length of the intestine. The contents of the intestine are then examined (scraping the intestine with a #0 insect pin) for parasites using a dissecting scope. The cecum is dissected by making an incision along the length of the cecum after which the contents are emptied into a sieve (60 mesh) and rinsed with tap water. The remaining material is then placed into a clean Petri dish and examined using a dissecting scope. Nematodes are fixed in GAA (Glacial Acetic Acid) until they are relaxed (3-4 min) and then stored in 100uffered formalin. Cestodes and Acanthocephalans are relaxed in dH2O (30-45 min) and then fixed and stored in 100uffered formalin. Fecal pellets are examined by sugar floatation. If viscera were not necropsied in the field they were frozen for later examination.

Below is the species list of all the parasites found in the small mammals caught on the 2 removal trapping webs from all 6 sites. Each species is given a four letter code, usually consisting of the first 2 letters of the genus and the first 2 letters of the specific name. The coccidia are different however, the first letter designates the genus with the last 3 letter comming from the specific name and is periodically being updated. A updated list can be found on the web site (http://sevilleta/data/species/parasite/)

The species are as follows:

acan: acanthocephala sp
adsp: Adelina species
caut: Catenotaenia utahensis
cuau: Cuterebra austeni
cune: Cuterebra neomexicana
cusp: Cuterebra species
cest: cestode sp
ealb: Eimeria albigulae
eari: Eimeria arizonensis
ebal: Eimeria balphai
ecal: Eimeria callospermophili
echa: Eimeria chaetodipi
echi: Eimeria chihuahuaensis
echo: Eimeria chobotari
edip: Eimeria dipodomysis
edor: Eimeria dorsalis
eere: Eimeria eremici
ehis: Eimeria hispidensis
elad: Eimeria ladronensis
elan: Eimeria langebarteli
elat: Eimeria lateralis
eleu: Eimeria leucopi
elio: Eimeria liomysis
emer: Eimeria merriami
emoh: Eimeria mohavensis
eneo: Eimeria neotomae
eony: Eimeria onychomysis
epeg: Eimeria perognathi
eper: Eimeria peromysci
eree: Eimeria reedi
esch: Eimeria scholtysecki
espp: Eimeria species
etam: Eimeria tamiasciurus
euta: Eimeria utahensis
flea: Siphonaptera sp
hede: Heteromyoxyuris deserti
hyci: Hymenolepis citelli
issp: Isospora species
iper: Isospora peromysci
lice: Mallophaga or Anoplura
madi: Mastophorus dipodomis
madp: Mathovetaenia dipodomi
mite: Acari
mocl: Moniliformis clarki
na: not available
nega: negative na
nema: Nematode sp
oode: Oochoristica deserti
posi: positive na
phma: Physaloptera massino
ptdi: Pterygodermatites dipodomis
rare: Raillietina retactalis
scdi: Schizorchodes dipodomi
syeu: Syphacia eutamii
tick: Acari
trdi: Trichuris dipodomis
trel: Trichuris elatoris
trem: trematode sp
unsp: unsporulated na

Maintenance: 

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson.  Helminth ID's entered and Eimeria Id's checked SKH and MR 7-98. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 25, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Checked by S. K. Heckscher 12 Feb. 1998. Helminth IDs entered and Eimerian ids checked 7-98 SKH and MR. Ectoparasites (fleas and lice) IDs by Dick Fagerlund entered by SKH 9-98 (3 entries). Kristin Vanderbilt (October 25, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth id's entered and Eimeria id's checked SKH and MR 7-98. 4 Feb. 1997: Changed host on 26105 from pgfl to pgfv, and added nk#'s and error checked 26102. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file. doc

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth ids entered and Eimeria ids checked 7-98 SKH and MR. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth ids entered and Eimeria ids checked 7/98 SKH and MR. Ectoparasites (fleas and lice) IDed by Dick Fagerlund entered by SKH 9/98. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth ids entered and Eimeria Ids checked 3 August 1998, SKH and MR. Ectoparasites (fleas and lice) IDed by Dick Fagerlund and entered by SKH 9-98. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth ids entered and Eimeria ids checked August 3, 1998, SKH and MR. Ectoparasites (fleas and lice) IDed by Dick Fagerlund, entered by SKH 9-98. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

File created by W.D. Wilson/D.W. Duszynski, 24 May 1993. Data entered by W.D. Wilson. Helminth ids entered and Eimeria ids checked 4 August, 1998 SKH and MR. Ectoparasites (fleas and lice) IDed by Dick Fagerlund, entered by SKH 9-98. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field. Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns. Archived file.

Set up by S.K. Heckscher July 1998. Season 1 entered July 98 SKH. Season 2 entered December 98 KHD. Both seasons checked, December KHD and MR. Checked with Mammal.dbf 1/99. Peromyscus IDs could still change esp. nk 10082. The 10000 numbers are actually 100000 numbers. Since the database is only set up for a five digit nk number, we didn't want to mess it up so we left off one '0', this only happens this year. Kristin Vanderbilt (October 29, 2001) Inserted _'s between words in comments field.  Used get_maxcol_width.csh to calculate number of dashes for header section of file. Used align_IAF_columns.csh to left align all columns.  Archived file.

The specimen with nk# 10082 is identified as pmle in this file, but is identified as pmbo in the mammal population dataset.  The specimen exists in the Museum of Southwest Biology, and its identification can be checked. 

Subscribe to RSS - parasitism