Date

2019

Major

Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Stephen Greiman

Abstract

This study aimed to screen Mongolian rodents for sucking lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) to better understand host-parasite associations for this understudied region. Nine species, including 3 previously undescribed, from 4 genera were identified. A molecular phylogeny based on 2 mitochondrial genes of collected louse specimens is included.

Thesis Summary

Knowledge of the ectoparasitic lice associated with small mammals in Mongolia is sparse. Previous data have only been recorded through individual expeditions and collections. Due to terrain and accessibility, numerous regions of Mongolia have not received proper scientific research. This study aimed to screen Mongolian rodents for sucking lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) to increase the understanding of host-louse relationships for this area of the world. A total of 9 different species of lice were identified from 56 individual mammalian hosts, representing more than 9 genera and 10 geographical locations. Identified lice are assigned to 4 genera and 9 species, including 3 previously undescribed species. The new species include: Linognathoides urocitelli n. sp. (family Polyplacidae) from the long-tailed ground squirrel Urocitellus undulatus, Hoplopleura n. sp. (family Hoplopleuridae) from the Gobi Altai mountain vole Alticola barakshin, and Polyplax n. sp. (family Polyplacidae) from the northern red-backed vole Myodes rutilus. Microscope imaging, including Scanning Electron Microscopy, line drawings, and DNA sequencing were methods used to distinguish and identify the undescribed species. A molecular phylogeny of collected louse specimens is included.

Share

COinS