Parasites and diseases of wild mammals in Florida

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Material Information

Title:
Parasites and diseases of wild mammals in Florida
Physical Description:
xx, 459 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Forrester, Donald J., 1937-
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Wildlife diseases -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Mammals -- Diseases -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Mammals -- Parasites -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Animal Diseases -- Florida   ( mesh )
Mammals -- parasitology -- Florida   ( mesh )
Parasitic Diseases -- epidemiology -- Florida   ( mesh )
Parasitic Diseases, Animal -- Florida   ( mesh )
Animaux sauvages -- Maladies -- Floride   ( rvm )
Mammifères -- Maladies -- Floride   ( rvm )
Mammifères -- Parasites -- Floride   ( rvm )
Mammifères   ( rvm )
Maladies parasitaires   ( rvm )
Mammals -- Diseases   ( fast )
Mammals -- Parasites   ( fast )
Wildlife diseases   ( fast )
Florida   ( fast )
Animal Diseases
Mammals -- Diseases -- Florida
Mammals -- Parasites -- Florida
Mammals -- parasitology
Parasitic Diseases -- epidemiology -- Florida
Parasitic Diseases -- veterinary
Wildlife diseases -- Florida
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
General Note:
"Published in cooperation with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Division of Wildlife"--T.p. verso.
Statement of Responsibility:
Donald J. Forrester ; wildlife drawings by David S. Maehr.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [University Press of Florida]. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 23357433
lccn - 91000536
isbn - 0813010721 (acid-free paper)
ocm23357433
Classification:
lcc - SF996.4 .F65 1991
ddc - 639.9/6/09759
nlm - SF 996.4 F731p 1992
bcl - 46.40
System ID:
AA00025659:00001

Full Text
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PARASITES AND DISEASES
OF WILD MAMMALS IN FLORIDA





I o







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Parasites and

Diseases of Wild

Mammals in Florida



Donald J. Forrester

Wildlife Drawings by David S. Maehr








UNIVERSITY PRESS OF FLORIDA
Gainesville Tallahassee Tampa Boca Raton Pensacola Orlando Miami Jacksonville

"^^,,TY OF n.WA LISBARIES









Copyright 1992 by the Board of Regents of the State of Florida
All rights reserved
Printed in the U.S.A. on acid-free paper @

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Forrester, Donald J., 1937-
Parasites and diseases of wild mammals in Florida / Donald J.
Forrester.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8130-1072-1
1. Wildlife diseases-Florida. 2. Mammals-Diseases-Florida.
3. Mammals-Parasites-Florida. I. Title.
[DNLM: 1. Animal Diseases. 2. Mammals-parasitology.
3. Parasitic Diseases-epidemiology-Florida. 4. Parasitic
Diseases-veterinary. SF 997 F731p]
SF996.4.F65 1991 91-536
639.9'6'09759-dc20 CIP
DNLM/DLC
for Library of Congress

The University Press of Florida is the scholarly publishing agency of the State University System of
Florida, comprised of Florida A & M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International
University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University
of North Florida, University of South Florida, and University of West Florida.

University Press of Florida, 15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611

Published in cooperation with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Division
of Wildlife.

Partially funded by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program (Pittman-Robertson Act)









I dedicate this book to my mother and father,

A. Emily Forrester (1906-1989)
and
J. Ronald Forrester (1904-1976)

who understood and fostered my early interest in wildlife during
my youth in New England. I will always remember
their love and encouragement.

























































































































































rC~









Contents






























LIST OF FIGURES........................................................................................ ...... ix
FOREWORD .................................................................. ....................................... xiii
PREFACE................................................................................ XV
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .......................................................................................... vii
H OW TO USE THIS BOOK ........................................................................................ XiX

1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 1
2 Opossum s .................................................................................................. 4
3 Moles and Shrews ........................................... 17
4 Bats......................................................................................................... 21
5 Arm adillos ......................................... 34






viii Contents

6 Rabbits............................................................................... ........................ 43
7 Squirrels ................................................................................................... 52
8 Pocket Gophers...................................................................................... 70
9 Old World Rats and Mice ..................................................................... 75
10 New World Rats and Mice....................................... ............... 85
11 Round-tailed Muskrats ............................................................................. ..115
12 Raccoons ................................................................................... ..............123
13 M ustelids .......... ..................................... ..................... ........................151
14 Black Bears ......................................... ............................. ........................163
15 Florida Panthers and Bobcats ....................................................................174
16 Foxes and Coyotes....................................................................................204
17 Whales and Dolphins................................................ ................. ........ 218
18 Seals and Sea Lions.......................................................................................251
19 Manatees .............................................................................................255
20 White-tailed Deer.................................... ........ ........................................275
21 K ey D eer ............................ ............. ............................ .......................354
22 Sam bar D eer ............................................................................................ ..... 359
23 Wild Hogs .................................... ......................................................362
24 Summary and Conclusions ................................ .......................... .......... 388

G LOSSARY ................................ ..... ..................................................... .... ...... 407
INDEX .............................. .................. .. ... ..............415









Figures





























Figure 2-1. Anatrichosoma tunnels in the hard palate of an opossum ............................. 8
Figure 2-2. Section of tongue of an opossum infected with Anatrichosoma...................... 9
Figure 2-3. Section of hard palate of an opossum showing eggs of
Anatrichosom a buccalis.................................................................................... ..... 10
Figure 4-1. Florida counties with rabid bats.................................................................25
Figure 4-2. Monthly distribution of bat rabies in Florida .................................... ...26
Figure 4-3. Distribution of Histoplasma capsulatum in Florida .......................................28
Figure 5-1. Section of armadillo skin with mange condition ...................................... 40
Figure 6-1. Liver of a rabbit with tularemia .................................................................... 45
Figure 7-1. Head of a gray squirrel with cutaneous fibromas ........................................ 55
Figure 7-2. Gray squirrel with bots .............................................................................62
Figure 7-3. Close-up of squirrel in Figure 7-2 ................................................................63
Figure 8-1. Seasonal changes in numbers of Mastophorus in pocket gophers .................71
Figure 10-1. Comparison of helminth species in cotton rats and rice rats .........................94






x Figures

Figure 10-2. Comparison of helminth species in rice rats from saltmarsh and
freshw ater habitats .................................................................................................... 97
Figure 10-3. Eggs of Capillaria hepatica in a Florida mouse's liver .............................101
Figure 10-4. Nymphs of Porocephalus crotali on a Florida mouse's liver ......................108
Figure 11-1. Effects of an agricultural "screen" on muskrat helminths......................... 118
Figure 12-1. Florida counties with rabid raccoons ...................................................126
Figure 12-2. Monthly distribution of rabies cases in raccoons in Florida ........................127
Figure 12-3. Florida counties with raccoons with canine distemper ...............................129
Figure 12-4. Epizootic curve for canine distemper outbreak in raccoons and
gray foxes.................................................................................................... ........ 131
Figure 12-5. Intracytoplasmic inclusion of canine distemper virus in brain tissue of
a raccoon........................................................ ..................................................... 131
Figure 13-1. Florida counties with rabid skunks ...................................................... 154
Figure 14-1. Numbers of male and female black bears killed each month on
Florida highways ........... .................................................... .......... ............................... 164
Figure 14-2. Age distribution of male and female black bears killed on Florida
highways .. .. ................................................. ........ ........ ........ ............ ........................165
Figure 14-3. Black bear with severe case of demodectic mange .......................... ..... 170
Figure 15-1. Comparison of mortality of Florida panthers with traffic use on
Alligator Alley...... ........................................................................... ....................176
Figure 15-2. Comparison of number of Florida panthers killed or injured by
vehicles with traffic use on Alligator Alley on a seasonal basis................................ 177
Figure 15-3. Florida counties in which rabid bobcats and Florida panthers have
been found ................................................................................................................. 181
Figure 15-4. Distribution of parvovirus in bobcats and Florida panthers ........................183
Figure 15-5. Transmission of Toxoplasma gondii among Florida panthers, bobcats,
and other m am m als.......................... ................ ......................................... .......... 188
Figure 15-6. Photomicrograph of a sarcocyst in tongue of a Florida panther ................189
Figure 15-7. Electron micrograph of Alaria marcianae ................................................194
Figure 15-8. Head of a bobcat with notoedric mange................................................197
Figure 15-9. Close-up of the ear of the bobcat in Figure 15-8 .......................................198
Figure 16-1. Distribution of rabid foxes in Florida o .............. ................................... 206
Figure 16-2. Distribution of canine distemper in gray foxes in Florida......................... 207
Figure 16-3. Heartworm in a gray fox ........................................................................212
Figure 16-4. Sarcoptic mange in a red fox ...................................................................214
Figure 17-1. Striped dolphin's cerebrum showing necrotic areas.................................228
Figure 17-2. Photomicrograph of the cerebrum in Figure 17-1 ..................................... 229
Figure 17-3. Photomicrograph of the cerebellum of the striped dolphin
in Figure 17-1 showing trematode infection..........................................230
Figure 17-4. Skin lesion of lobomycosis in a bottlenosed dolphin....................................232
Figure 17-5. Cyst of Toxoplasma gondii in a bottlenosed dolphin's liver ........................234
Figure 17-6. Kidney of a Cuvier's beaked whale with Crassicauda infection ...................240
Figure 17-7. Mass stranding of short-finned pilot whales in northeastern Florida ...........243
Figure 17-8. Mass stranding of short-finned pilot whales at Fort George Inlet................245






Figures xi

Figure 17-9. Opened nasal sinus of a short-finned pilot whale
show ing fluke infection ................................... .................. .......................... .....245
Figure 19-1. Florida manatee that died due to trauma inflicted by a boat's
propeller blades ................................................................................................... 257
Figure 19-2. Mortality of manatees due to boat-related incidents compared to
numbers of registered boats in Florida.....................................................................259
Figure 19-3. Necrotizing colitis and typhlitis in a Florida manatee ................................263
Figure 19-4. Pustular dermatitis on the fluke of a Florida manatee ...............................264
Figure 19-5. Toxoplasma cyst in the cerebral neuropil of a young Florida manatee........265
Figure 19-6. Flukes in the nasal passages of a Florida manatee .................................267
Figure 19-7. Paramphistome flukes in the large intestine of a Florida manatee................268
Figure 19-8. Small intestine of a Florida manatee showing fluke infection.................... 269
Figure 19-9. Ascaroid nematodes in the gastric mucosa of a Florida manatee ............270
Figure 20-1. Left side of white-tailed deer's face showing fibromas ...............................281
Figure 20-2. Right side of deer's face showing fibroma............................................282
Figure 20-3. Large fibroma near base of deer's tail ....................................................... 282
Figure 20-4. Baseball-size fibroma on deer's left rear leg ..............................................283
Figure 20-5. Distribution of hemorrhagic disease viruses in white-tailed deer
in Florida............................................................................................... ...................286
Figure 20-6. Erosions of dental pad of white-tailed deer with hemorrhagic disease.........288
Figure 20-7. Laminitis in chronic hemorrhagic disease in white-tailed deer .................. 289
Figure 20-8. Abrasions on carpal joints in deer with hemorrhagic disease.....................290
Figure 20-9. Atrophied rumen villi in deer with hemorrhagic disease ......................... 291
Figure 20-10. Thick-walled sarcocyst in tongue of a white-tailed deer .......................... 300
Figure 20-11. Thin-walled sarcocyst in tongue of a white-tailed deer ........................... 301
Figure 20-12. Giant liver flukes in the liver of a white-tailed deer .................................. 302
Figure 20-13. Distribution of giant liver flukes in white-tailed deer in Florida ..............303
Figure 20-14. Distribution of rumen flukes in white-tailed deer in Florida ....................307
Figure 20-15. Lungs of a white-tailed deer infected with lungworms.............................308
Figure 20-16. Close-up of lungworms in a white-tailed deer..........................................309
Figure 20-17. Distribution of lungworms in white-tailed deer from Florida ..................311
Figure 20-18. Abomasum of a white-tailed deer infected with Haemonchus ..................324
Figure 20-19. Distribution of Haemonchus spp. in white-tailed deer from Florida......... 325
Figure 20-20. Peritoneal cavity of a white-tailed deer infected with Setaria ...................332
Figure 20-21. Distribution of the black-legged tick on white-tailed deer in Florida.........339
Figure 20-22. White-tailed deer with tick-bite dermatitis ..... ......................................340
Figure 20-23. Skin of a white-tailed deer with demodectic mange ..............................341
Figure 20-24. Sagittal view of the head of a white-tailed deer with nasal bots .............342
Figure 23-1. Distribution of pseudorabies virus in wild hogs from Florida......................365
Figure 23-2. Map of Florida showing locations where wild hogs were examined
for Brucella ...................................................................... .............................. 369
Figure 23-3. Warning to wild hog hunters in Florida about brucellosis ...........................371
Figure 23-4. Kite diagram of frequencies of coccidia species in wild hogs .......................375
Figure 23-5. Trachea and bronchi of wild hog infected with lungworms.........................377






xii Figures

Figure 23-6. Section of wild hog's lung showing lungworms .........................................377
Figure 23-7. Kidney worms in perirenal fat of wild hog .................................... 378
Figure 23-8. Trichina worm larvae in muscle of a hog ........................................ ....379
Figure 23-9. Distribution of ticks on wild hogs during different seasons at
Fisheating Creek, Florida .............................................................. ........................384







































ck~a~~48P w









Foreword




























Stressed wildlife populations naturally serve response to declining health of the stressed an-
as hosts to many pathogens and vectors of dis- imal or population. Because many wildlife
eases that may affect not only their individual disease events are density-dependent, any
health, but the health of wildlife populations, management treatments, heretofore, typically
domestic animals, and humans as well. Fac- have been designed to artificially reduce ani-
tors that may traumatize wildlife, such as mal numbers to accelerate improved health of
poor nutrition, social stress, loss of habitat, the population. Although such an approach
harassment, and environmental changes, typ- represents a treatment of symptoms rather
ically reduce the individual animal's ability to than causes, it has served the need well in cases
combat infectious agents, ultimately resulting where populations are not already compro-
in reduced thriftiness, disease, mortality, and/ mised by low numbers. Florida wildlife and
or population decline, their habitats are currently being affected by
Both parasites and diseases may in some pressures of unprecedenited human growth,
cases affect wildlife as independent agents, however, and more in-depth understanding of
but in most cases are clinically manifested in the role of diseases and parasites in wildlife






xiv Foreword

biology is now essential. This reality is partic- has performed under contract for the Florida
ularly true in the recovery of such endangered Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission to
mammals as the Florida panther and the Flor- further our understanding of wild animal
ida manatee. This book seeks to partially ful- health in Florida. While unquestionably valu-
fill that need. able to wildlife managers in Florida, this vol-
Parasites and Diseases of Wild Mammals ume should also serve as a technical contribu-
in Florida is a product of more than 20 years tion to the wildlife literature.
of scientific work that Dr. Donald J. Forrester

Tom H. Logan
Bureau of Wildlife Research
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission








Preface























Then God commanded, "Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life:
domestic and wild, large and small"--and it was done.
Genesis 1:24 (TEV)



Because of its exceptional combination of An understanding of the health and dis-
climate and geography, Florida has a rich and eases of these mammals is necessary in order
diverse mammalian fauna. Of the 96 species to properly manage and preserve this valuable
found in the state or its waters, 85 are native natural resource. The purpose of this book is
and 11 have been introduced or recently have to provide a reference to the available infor-
expanded their range into Florida. Among mation on various parasites, diseases, and
Florida's mammals are a number of unique other factors that cause morbidity (sickness)
species or subspecies, such as round-tailed and mortality (death) in Florida wild mam-
muskrats, panthers, manatees, and Key deer, mals, with emphasis on distribution, preva-
as well as important game animals, for exam- lence, and significance. Information is in-
ple, rabbits, squirrels, white-tailed deer, and cluded on 61 native and 8 non-native species.
wild hogs. Others are of interest because of Much of this information was found scattered
their esthetic value or their role in the trans- throughout the published literature, in the
mission of diseases to man or domesticated "gray literature," and in the personal files,
animals. notes, and reports of numerous individuals






xvi Preface

and organizations. A large amount of unpub- moles, shrews, armadillos, pocket gophers) it
lished data has been included through the co- is more limited. This was not by choice, but
operation and generosity of many people. because many mammals in Florida have not
Much of this information has come from my been well studied and little is known about
own research and that of my graduate stu- their parasites and diseases. It is hoped that
dents and postdoctoral associates over the this book will help wildlife biologists, mam-
past 21 years as well as numerous colleagues malogists, conservationists, resource adminis-
at the University of Florida and other univer- trators, educators, students, veterinarians,
sities and agencies. and others in the health professions to under-
For some mammals (i.e., white-tailed deer, stand what is known and to thereby stimulate
wild hogs, raccoons, and manatees) the cover- further research, especially on those mammals
age is fairly extensive, whereas for others (i.e., that have been poorly studied or neglected.








Acknowledgments



























Funding for much of the original research re- help in providing considerable data on Flor-
ported in this book and for its publication was ida mammals. Data were obtained also from
provided by the Florida Game and Fresh Wa- the Florida State Collection of Arthropods,
ter Fish Commission and the federal Pittman- Gainesville, Florida, and from the U.S. Na-
Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program. tional Parasite Collection, Beltsville, Mary-
Tom H. Logan was particularly supportive, as land. Personnel from these organizations and
were Lovett E. Williams, Jr., Fred W. Stan- many others who contributed include C.A.
berry, James A. Powell, James R. Brady, and Beck, H.N. Becker, W.J. Bigler, R.K. Bonde,
Tommy C. Hines. E.A. Bowerman, J.R. Brady, C.D. Buergelt,
A number of organizations and people gen- M.J. Burridge, M.B. Calderwood-Mays, D.K.
erously contributed information, much of it Caldwell, W.R. Davidson, G.L. Doster, E.P.J.
unpublished. I am especially indebted to the Gibbs, B. Goodson, N. Gourlie, E.C. Greiner,
personnel of the Southeastern Cooperative G.L. Hoff, H. Hoogstraal, S.R. Humphrey,
Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the Uni- J.M. Kinsella, J.N. Layne, R.G. McLean, D.S.
versity of Georgia for their cooperation and Maehr, L. Matthews, J.C. Mead, E.G. Mil-






xviii Acknowledgments

strey, V.F. Nettles, P.L. Nicoletti, D.K. Odell, Special thanks go to Sandy Bolton, Sherri
T.J. O'Shea, J.A. Popp, M.E. Roelke, C.E. Clark, Kandi Crosier, Rita Day, Tammy
Roessler, H.L. Rubin, S.W. Russell, J.J. Sacks, Gault, Phillip Liston, Jan Machnik, Marianne
G.C. Steers, E.R. Stetzer, F.I. Townsend, H.Y. Rarick, Barbara Rowe, Joan Swofford, and
Wassef, J.O. Whitaker, F.H. White, N.A. Wil- Lisa Weppner for patiently providing the
son, M.M. Wong, J.C. Woodard, J.B. Wood- word processing of many revisions of the
ing, and S.D. Wright. manuscript and for their suggestions on im-
The following people reviewed various proving the format.
chapters and provided helpful suggestions: Finally I wish to thank my family, espe-
C.A. Beck, H.N. Becker, R.C. Belden, W.J. cially my wife, Gabriele, for understanding
Bigler, R.R. Bonde, J.R. Brady, C.D. Buergelt, and encouragement during the long process of
D.K. Caldwell, J.A. Conti, W.R. Davidson, writing this book.
E.P.J. Gibbs, E.C. Greiner, T.C. Hines, G.L. I am grateful to the following publishers
Hoff, S.R. Humphrey, J.M. Kinsella, T.H. Lo- and authors for permission to use figures from
gan, R.G. McLean, D.S. Maehr, V.F. Nettles, their publications:
D.K. Odell, T.J. O'Shea, M.E. Roelke, M.G.
Spalding, J.E. Thul, M.T. Walsh, F.H. White, Journal of Parasitology for Figures 2-1, 2-2,
J.C. Woodard, S.D. Wright, and M.D. and 2-3
Young. J.N. Layne read the entire manuscript Laboratory Animals for Figure 5-1
and provided a number of very useful sugges- J. Perran Ross for Figure 8-1
tions, especially related to mammalogy. Zoologica for Figure 10-3
Those who donated or assisted with the Bulletin of the Wildlife Disease Association
preparation of photographs and figures in- for Figure 10-4
cluded J.R. Brady, C.D. Buergelt, J. Cooley, Florida Department of Health and Rehabili-
W.R. Davidson, G.W. Foster, R.T. Goldston, tative Services for Figures 4-2 and 12-2
E.C. Greiner, G.L. Hoff, J.N. Layne, M.D. Journal of Wildlife Diseases for Figures 12-4
Little, D.B. Pence, W.L. Shoop, M.G. Spal- and 23-9
ding, F.I. Townsend, J.B. Wooding, and S.D. Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife
Wright. Most of the distribution maps were Agencies for Figures 14-1 and 14-2
made by S.A. Ross and M.G. Spalding. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and
wildlife line drawings were done by D.S. Hygiene for Figure 17-4
Maehr, to whom I am especially grateful. Whalewatcher for Figure 19-2
Others who helped in various ways are L.M. Florida Wildlife for Figure 23-2
Bielsa, J.H. Bogue, G.L. Cornish, D.K. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Couch, N.R. Hall, P.K. Humphlett, P.P. Association for Figure 23-4
Humphrey, J.R. Litchenfels, G. Migaki, S.E. Melody E. Roelke for Figures 15-1 and 15-2
Ross, D.E. Wood, and M.D. Young.









How to Use This Book







4








.01,













Parasites and Diseases of Wild Mammals in nostic process can be a complicated one and,
Florida is not a diagnostic manual, although as stated by Davidson and Nettles, "highly
it may prove to be of some value in that regard trained disease specialists with access to so-
since a knowledge of the diseases and para- phisticated diagnostic tests often have diffi-
sites that occur in a given mammal may aid in culty in confirming a diagnosis" (p. 1). They
a differential diagnosis. For help in the recog- state further that where "there is any doubt
nition of the common diseases and parasites about the identity of any disease or parasite,
of many of the mammals in Florida, the reader specimens should be sent to a professional di-
is referred to the recent publication by David- agnostician for examination" (p. 1). David-
son and Nettles (1988). This excellent manual son and Nettles' manual also contains a sec-
contains a number of color plates along with tion on field investigations and outlines the
descriptions of clinical signs and lesions for procedures to be followed for such studies of
many diseases of mammals in the southeast- disease outbreaks and gives general guidelines
ern United States, and should be utilized as a for the collection and handling of samples for
companion volume to the present book. The diagnostic purposes.
reader is cautioned, however, that the diag- This book is intended to be a reference in






xx How to Use This Book

which data on the distribution, prevalence, question are discussed. In addition, pertinent
and significance of parasites and diseases are reviews or bibliographies are mentioned in
assembled. The material is presented on a host this section along with references dealing with
basis, that is, the chapters are organized by hematology, serum chemistry, nutrition, uri-
species of mammal rather than by disease nalysis, and various physiological topics. If
agents as is so often done in books on diseases, the species is hunted or trapped, information
This should facilitate the use of this book by on the numbers of animals harvested is also
wildlife biologists and others who most often provided. After the introduction there are sec-
are host-oriented and may wish to know the tions on various morbidity/mortality factors,
health/disease status of a certain mammal. Be- disease agents, and conditions in which the
cause many diseases and parasites occur in distribution, prevalence, and, in some cases,
more than one host, information on them ap- intensity of each is given. This is followed by
pears in more than one chapter. To avoid rep- statements of the significance of these diseases
etition of details on etiology, transmission, to natural populations as well as considera-
pathology, and so on, such general informa- tions of public health aspects. Each chapter
tion is presented only in the chapter concern- ends with a summary and conclusion fol-
ing the host in which this disease or parasite lowed by a list of references cited. At the end
is of most significance in Florida. Rabies, for of the book there is a glossary to assist the
example, is discussed most thoroughly in the reader in understanding the technical terms
chapter on raccoons, whereas additional data used.
on prevalence and distribution of rabies will
be found in a number of other chapters. To
assist the reader in locating the chapters con- Literature cited
taining this type of general information, the
page numbers of such are indicated in bold- Davidson, W. R., and V. F. Nettles. 1988. Field
face type in the index, manual of wildlife diseases in the southeast-
Each chapter is preceded by an introduc- ern United States. Southeastern Cooperative
tion in which the population and survival sta- Wildlife Disease Study, Univ. of Georgia,
tus of the mammal or group of mammals in Athens. 309 pp.








CHAPTER ONE



Introduction

















The role of disease in wildlife conservation
has probably been radically underestimated.
Aldo Leopold (1933)


The term disease has been defined in many ity can be grouped into 12 categories (Table
different ways. For the purposes of this book 1-1), which include the items listed above and
a broad definition is employed as presented by others.
Wobeser (1981, p. 1): disease is "any impair- A clear distinction must be made between
ment that interferes with or modifies the per- the terms infection and disease. They are not
formance of normal functions." This defini- the same. An animal can have an infection,
tion would include diseases caused by that is, it can be a host to bacteria, viruses, or
infectious agents (viruses, rickettsia, bacteria, parasites and experience little or no effects, or
fungi) and parasites (protozoans, trematodes, it can have a disease in which case the infec-
cestodes, nematodes, acanthocephalans, pen- tious agent may overpower the resistance of
tastomes, ticks, mites, fleas, lice, biting flies) the animal and cause considerable harm, pos-
as well as other factors such as environmental sibly resulting in death. Often the suffix -iasis
contaminants, trauma, inclement weather, is added to a word to indicate an infection,
neoplasia, anomalies, and nutritional defi- while -osis is used for disease. For example,
ciencies. The causes of morbidity and mortal- small numbers of the abomasal nematode






2 Introduction

Table 1-1
The 12 fundamental categories of morbidity and mortality in wild mammals

Category Comments
1. Anomalies Usually are rare; confined to an occasional mammal.
2. Stress Varies depending on the nature of the stress or stressors. Usually reflects other
conditions such as chronic malnutrition or extreme parasitism.
3. Trauma Includes predation, road-kills, and intraspecific conflicts.
4. Suffocation Can be caused by drowning or verminous pneumonia.
5. Neoplasms Includes both benign and malignant tumors; most cause only occasional
mortality.
6. Toxicoses May cause considerable mortality in a localized area. Most are caused by
environmental contaminants and are due to man's activities.
7. Nutritional Malnutrition due to deficient intake of energy and protein. Often is associated
diseases with infectious diseases and is most severe in the young and the very old.
8. Viral and Can cause widespread and rapid mortality.
rickettsial diseases
9. Bacterial diseases Can result in considerable mortality especially in dense populations, but also
can be of an insidious nature.
10. Mycotic diseases Usually are secondary invaders along with or following other diseases.
11. Parasitic diseases Most are insidious and cause morbidity and mortality over a long period of
time. Commonly are associated with overpopulation and malnutrition.
12. Senility Not usually an important mortality factor in wild mammals.
Source: Adapted from Hayes and Prestwood (1969); Kellogg (1981).

Haemonchus contortus infecting white-tailed teract within a host and result in synergistic
deer result in haemonchiasis, but if large num- effects. This interaction can mean that sepa-
bers of the nematode are involved and disease rately various infectious and parasitic agents
is a consequence, the condition is called may cause little harm to an animal, but con-
haemonchosis. These two concepts should be current infections can be more harmful than
kept in mind when reading this book, where would be expected from a mere additive ef-
both conditions are presented sometimes fect. In addition, various factors, such as nu-
without clear distinction. A given mammal trition, environmental contaminants, stress
may have a long list of infectious agents, para- due to overcrowding, or inclement weather,
sites, and other conditions, but not all may may interact with infectious and parasitic
cause disease, or, if they do, the effects may agents and result in serious disease. This com-
not be serious. Wild mammals often serve as plex phenomenon is only partially under-
reservoir hosts or carrier hosts, in which case stood for most wildlife diseases.
they maintain infections with little or no ap- Basic to an understanding of wildlife dis-
parent harm to themselves but serve as a eases is information on distribution, preva-
source of infection for other wild mammals, lence, and intensity. The distribution of dis-
domestic mammals, or man. In many cases eases in time and space is of great relevance.
the mechanisms whereby infections become Some diseases are widespread geographically,
diseases are poorly understood or not known occur at all times of the year, and infect many
at all. different species of mammals. Others are
Another concept that must be emphasized more restricted in distribution and occur only
is that disease agents and conditions often in- at certain times of the year. Still others are






Introduction 3

found only in one host or in a few closely re- mammals into focus, but the reader should
lated species. In addition, the prevalence of understand that the discipline of wildlife dis-
diseases or disease agents is of great interest, ease investigation is still in its infancy corn-
The term prevalence refers to the number or pared to human and veterinary medicine.
percentage of animals in a sample or popula- There is much to be done, but the first steps
tion that are infected with a given disease or are to assemble and examine what is known
parasite. It is helpful to understand prevalence about the various diseases and their distribu-
in terms of the time span during which the tion and prevalence among native popula-
data were collected. Intensity is also of value tions. This information should form the basis
in assessing the significance of infections and for future research as well as provide a foun-
relates to the number of disease agents (i.e., dation for management and conservation
worms, protozoans, arthropods) per infected plans for the valuable and unique mammalian
mammal. Uninfected animals are not taken fauna of Florida.
into consideration by the concept of intensity.
It is not always possible to determine the in-
tensity of infections, but where it can be done Literature cited
the information is of great value.
Diseases that cause large-scale mortality Hayes, F.A., and A.K. Prestwood. 1969. Some
(epizootics) often receive considerable atten- considerations for diseases and parasites of
tion because the results are dramatic. The ef- white-tailed deer in the southeastern United
fects of more subtle or chronic problems, States. Proc. White-tailed Deer in the South-
however, can be important as well. An at- ern Forest Habitat Symp., USDA, Forest Ser-
tempt is made in each chapter to assess the im- vice, Southern For. Exp. Sta., Nacogdoches,
portance of the various diseases to the host in Tex. pp. 32-36.
question and to relate it to three aspects: ef- Kellogg, F.E. 1981. Field considerations. In:
Diseases and parasites of white-tailed deer.
fects on the populations of wild mammals; ef- a p o
W.R. Davidson et al. (eds.). Misc. Pub. No.
fects on and interactions with domesticated 7, Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahas-
7, Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahas-
animals; and public health implications. see, Fla. pp. 1-5.
Much of the information on these topics is in- Leopold, A. 1933. Game management. Charles
complete, sketchy, or lacking entirely. An at- Scribner's Sons, New York. 481 pp.
tempt is made in the summary (Chapter 24) to Wobeser, G.A. 1981. Diseases of wild water-
bring the available information for Florida's fowl. Plenum Press, New York. 300 pp.









CHAPTER TWO




Opossums









I. Introduction......................... ............. ...... 4
II. Traum a..................................... ........ ...... 4
III. Environmental contaminants .......................... 5
IV Rabies ............................ ............................ 5
V. Arboviruses.................................................... 5
VI. M iscellaneous viruses................................... 5
VII. Bacterial diseases ..................................... 6
VIII. Mycotic infections....................................... 9
IX. Protozoan parasites .................................. 9
X. H elm inths ..................................................... 10
XI. Arthropods .................................... ............. 12
XII. Summary and conclusions .............................. 13
XIII. Literature cited ............................................ 13


I. Introduction

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana compilation of a number of specific anatomi-
Kerr) is abundant and distributed widely cal lesions and conditions.
throughout the state of Florida (Brown
1987). Interest in the opossum is considerable
due to its value as a research animal and its II. Trauma
significance as a reservoir of zoonotic dis-
eases. The biology of this marsupial has been Gardner (1982) discussed the published ac-
reviewed recently by Gardner (1982), and a counts of trauma in Virginia opossums and
brief summary of mortality factors, including pointed out that this animal often seems to
predation, trauma, diseases, and parasites, have excessive numbers of cuts, scratches,
was included. More detailed accounts have ripped ears, lost toes, broken teeth, and bro-
been given by Barr (1963) and Potkay (1970, ken bones. There is little published informa-
1977). The 1977 review by Potkay is espe- tion on trauma in opossums from Florida,
cially helpful, and includes data on viruses, but a few such observations have been made.
rickettsiae, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and a The most important predators appear tobe






Opossums 5

dogs and great horned owls (Gardner 1982). ported in Florida, one from Duval County
The skull of an opossum was found in the (1970) and one from Escambia County
nest of a bald eagle in Highlands County (1981). The clinical signs of rabies in opos-
(Rand and Host 1942). Road-killed opos- sums are those of "dumb rabies" rather than
sums are common in Florida, and trauma of "furious rabies," and this would make it un-
this type will be of increasing importance as likely that rabid wild opossums would trans-
Florida's human population grows. mit the disease to other animals by biting
(Barr 1963). Experimental studies have
shown that the opossum is extremely resis-
III. Environmental contaminants tant to rabies. More than 16,000 times the
amount of virus that causes foxes to die of
Very little information is available on envi- rabies is needed to cause fatal infections in
ronmental contaminants in opossums in Flor- opossums (Barr 1961; Beamer et al. 1960).
ida. In one study, residues of mirex (a chlori- These data indicate that rabies is not an im-
nated hydrocarbon) were determined in three portant disease to opossums and that the
opossums from the Dee Dot Ranch in Duval opossum does not have an important role in
County (Wheeler et al. 1977). One animal the epidemiology of this disease in Florida.
was killed and examined at 1 month, 6
months, and 18 months after the area was
treated for fire ant control. Concentrations of V. Arboviruses
mirex in brain, fat, liver, muscle, and stomach
contents were less than 1 ppm except for the Five arboviruses have been reported from
fat samples at 1 month and 6 months, which opossums in Florida (Table 2-1). These in-
measured 1.72 and 3.35 ppm, respectively. clude eastern equine encephalomyelitis
The significance of these findings is unknown. (EEE), St. Louis encephalitis, Everglades,
In another study (Jenkins and Fendley Keystone, and Sawgrass viruses. There is no
1968) 14 opossums were examined for gam- indication that any of these viruses have an
ma ray-emitting radioisotopes. The most im- adverse effect on opossums. Experimental in-
portant isotope was cesium-137. The exact fections with EEE virus have shown that
locality for these opossums was not given, opossums exhibit no clinical evidence of dis-
but they were from the lower coastal plain in ease-even when massive doses of virus are
Florida. Mean concentrations of cesium-137 given (Syverton and Berry 1940). Opossums
were 19,372 pCi/kg, and ranged from 11,474 may serve some role as reservoir hosts for
to 29,057 pCi/kg. The authors felt that these these viruses, particularly Everglades virus,
concentrations would not constitute a serious in southern Florida.
public health hazard should these animals be
consumed. The significance to opossum pop-
ulations is unknown. VI. Miscellaneous viruses

The possible role of opossums in the epidemi-
IV. Rabies ology of encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus
was studied during an outbreak of EMC in
Rabies is uncommon in opossums (Burridge domestic swine near Winter Haven, Florida,
et al. 1986). Only two cases have been re- in 1966 (Gainer and Bigler 1967; Gainer et al.







6 Opossums

Table 2-1
Arboviruses reported from opossums in Florida

No. opossums Locality
Arbovirusa Date Exam. Pos. (county) Data source
EEE 1963-70 194 2 Hillsborough Wellings et al. (1972)
1965-74 199 1 Statewide Bigler et al. (1975)
SLE 1962 3 1 Hillsborough Jennings et al. (1969)
1965-74 199 2 Statewide Bigler et al. (1975)
1968 NGb 2 Dade " i
Highlands J 1965-74 159 0 Statewide " i
Everglades 1965-74 184 1 Statewide " "
1965-66 66 0 Collier Lord et al. (1973)
1965-66 52 20 Monroe "
1969-70 93 i' Statewide Bigler (1971)
1966-68 23 0 "South Florida" Bigler (1969)
Keystone 1964-67 113 1 Hillsborough Jennings et al. (1968),
Taylor et al. (1971)
Sawgrass 1964 4 4d Hillsborough Sather et al. (1970)
Note: All data (except as noted otherwise) are from serologic studies.
a EEE = eastern equine encephalomyelitis, SLE = St. Louis encephalitis.
b NG = not given by authors.
SThe positive animal was from Collier County, where 4 opossums were examined.
d Sawgrass virus was isolated from ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) taken from 4 opossums.

1968). As part of a general survey of wildlife, in the epidemiology of this virus in Florida,
three opossums from a farm where EMC had where it is common in feral hog populations
occurred were examined for serologic evi- (see Chapter 23).
dence of infection, and attempts were made to
isolate EMC virus. All results were negative.
Antibodies to canine distemper (CD) virus VII. Bacterial diseases
were found in 4 of 61 (7%) opossums in
Manatee County and in 1 of 14 (7%) in Sara- Three surveys have been conducted to detect
sota County in 1968-69 (McLean 1988). The infections of leptospires in various wild mam-
importance of this virus to opossums is un- mals in southern Georgia and Florida. All of
known. For more information on CD virus these included examinations of opossums. In
in carnivores in Florida, see Chapters 12 the investigation during 1954-1956 by
(Raccoons) and 16 (Foxes and Coyotes). McKeever et al. (1958a), cultures were made
Serological tests for antibodies to infec- of kidneys from opossums from three areas
tious canine hepatitis virus were conducted near the Florida border (site nos. 10, 11, 12).
also on the same animals listed above Leptospires were cultured from 5 of 81 opos-
(McLean 1988). All were negative, sums, and Leptospira ballum was identified
There are no data available on pseudora- in 3 of these isolates. In another study (Shotts
bies in opossums in Florida. Since this animal et al. 1975) 17 opossums from the Florida
has been shown to be susceptible to pseudora- panhandle and southwestern Georgia were
bies (Trainer and Karstad 1963), it would be examined serologically and via culture tech-
helpful to know what role opossums play niques. Leptospira ballum was identified se-







Opossums 7

Table 2-2
Helminths reported from opossums in Florida

No. opossums Locality
Helminth Exam. Inf. (%) (county) Data source
Trematoda
Brachylaeme virginianum NGa + (-) Highlands Kinsella (1987)
Mesostephanus appendiculatoides c c (-) Hutton (1964)
Phagicola longa c c (_) ,
Rhopalias baculifer NG + (-) Leon Loftin (1961)
Rhopalias coronatus NG + (-) Leon "
Rhopalias macracanthus NG + (-) Highlands Kinsella (1987)
Stictodora cursitans 1 1 (100) Levy Kinsella & Heard (1974)
Nematoda
Anatrichosoma buccalis 64 23 (36) Highlands Kinsella & Winegarner (1975)
Capillaria hepatica 6 0 (0) Severald Layne (1968)
Cruzia americana NG + (-) Highlands Kinsella (1987)
1 1 (100) Alachua Forrester (1990)
Dipetalonema didelphise NG + (-) "Florida" Esslinger & Smith (1979)
26 0 (0) Indian R. Sauerman & Nayar (1985)
Gnathostoma didelphis NG + (-) Levy Penner (1987)
Longistriata didelphis NG + (-) Highlands Kinsella (1987)
Physaloptera ackerti NG + (-) "Florida" Penner (1987)
Physaloptera turgida NG + (-) NG Morgan (1941)
NG + (-) "Florida" Walton (1927)
NG + (-) "Florida" Penner (1987)
Trichinella spiralis 65 3 (5) Marion Scholtens & Norman (1971)
Viannaia viannai NG + (-) Highlands Kinsella (1987)
Acanthocephala
Hamanniella tortuosa NG + (-) Levy Penner (1987)
a NG = not given by author.
b + = presence of the parasite reported by author, but no data given on prevalence.
c Hutton (1964) included these two species in his checklist and added a notation that these were "experimental" infections.
It is not known if these trematodes infect opossums naturally in Florida.
d Alachua, Highlands, and Levy counties.
This filariid was described by Esslinger and Smith (1979) from specimens collected from an opossum in Florida. The specific
locality was not given.


rologically in five animals and was cultured known, but this marsupial is considered to be
from seven. Unfortunately Shotts et al. com- an important reservoir of leptospirosis for
bined their data from Florida and Georgia, other wildlife and for humans (Gardner
so it is not possible to determine how many 1982).
of these positive opossums were from Florida. Antibodies to Francisella tularensis, the
McLean (1988) found seropositive animals etiologic agent of tularemia, were identified in
(serovar not determined) in Manatee County 6 of 24 opossums from Leon County during
(6 of 69 opossums) and Sarasota County (1 of 1955-57 (McKeever et al. 1958b). Franci-
16) in 1968-1969. The importance of these sella tularensis was isolated from the spleen
leptospiral infections to opossums is un- of one of these seropositive opossums. Hoff






8 Opossums

































FIGURE 2-1. View of hard palate of a Virginia opossum showing
tunnels (arrows) filled with eggs of Anatrichosoma buccalis in the
mucosal epithelium (x 3). (After Pence and Little 1972.)



et al. (1975) reported that 5 of 451 opossums These cultures were made from intestinal
from Florida (specific localities not given) contents and not from tissues, so these find-
were seropositive for F. tularensis. These ani- ings probably represent the carrier state
mals were sampled between 1965 and 1973. rather than disease situations.
Opossums may have a significant role in the Hoff et al. (1974) examined sera from 169
spread of this zoonotic disease. opossums from Florida (specific localities not
In September 1975 White (1988) cultured given) for agglutinins to Brucella canis. All
five opossums from Dade County; three were samples were negative. McLean (1988) ex-
positive for Salmonella. Two animals were amined 61 opossums from Manatee County
infected with S. newport and S. bareilly and and 14 from Sarasota County in 1968-69;
one animal was positive for S. saint-paul. all were seronegative for B. canis.






Opossums 9


























FIGURE 2-2. Section of tongue of a Virginia opossum showing transverse sections of female Anatricho-
soma buccalis (arrows) (x 43). (After Pence and Little 1972.)

VIII. Mycotic infections have been the source of this fungus in the
area.
During 1954-1956, 436 opossums from
southwestern Georgia and northwestern
Florida were examined for ringworm fungi IX. Protozoan parasites
(McKeever et al. 1958d). Seventeen (3.9%) of
these were infected. Eleven of the 17 animals Two protozoan parasites have been reported
were positive for a Microsporum (red vari- from opossums in Florida; both are of zoo-
ety), and six were positive for Trichophyton notic concern. McKeever et al. (1958c) found
mentagrophytes. The significance of these 93 of 552 (17%) opossums from southwest-
findings is questionable since none of the ern Georgia and northwestern Florida in-
opossums showed any sign of fungal infec- fected by a Trypanosoma cruzi-like organ-
tion. The authors concluded that the origin ism. Further studies on this organism by
of the fungi was from contaminated fur rather Norman et al. (1959) showed that this try-
than a true ringworm infection. Micro- panosome was indistinguishable from T.
sporum has been recovered from soil and at- cruzi. Irons (1971) examined 201 opossums
tempts to infect experimental animals have from 23 counties in Florida; all were seroneg-
not been successful. Trichophyton mentagro- ative for T. cruzi.
phytes causes ringworm in cattle and horses, Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were
and these animals rather than opossums may found in 37 of 349 (11%) opossums from






10 Opossums




























FIGURE 2-3. Section of hard palate of a Virginia opossum showing eggs of Anatrichosoma buccalis in a
tunnel. Note that the eggs are thick-walled, bipolar, and contain developing larvae (x 360). (After Pence
and Little 1972.)


throughout Florida (Burridge et al. 1979). but not in Florida. Gardner (1982) lists 70
The prevalence of infection was significantly species of helminths, including 30 nematodes,
higher in adult animals (15%) than in non- 26 trematodes, 7 cestodes, and 7 acantho-
adults (1%). There were no differences in cephalans. These are composite data and a
prevalence according to sex or geographic given population will have a much smaller
location within the state. In another study, number of species. For example, two studies
McLean (1988) found 1 of 62 and none of in North Carolina resulted in the finding of
14 opossums seropositive in Manatee and 13 (Miller and Harkema 1970) and 17 species
Sarasota counties, respectively, in 1968. (Feldman et al. 1972). Stewart and Dean
There is no information available concern- (1971) gave data on nine species of helminths
ing the effects of these two protozoans on from four opossums in southern Georgia.
opossums. Five species of trematodes, nine species of
nematodes, and one acanthocephalan are
known from opossums in Florida (Table 2-
X. Helminths 2). Only one of these (Trichinella spiralis) is
of zoonotic concern.
The helminths of the Virginia opossum have For most of these parasites there are no
been well studied in several parts of its range, data on pathology or other biological as-






Opossums 11

Table 2-3
Ticks reported from opossums in Florida

Species of tick Location (county) Data source
Dermacentor variabilis "Northern Florida" Rogers (1953)
Hillsborough Sather et al. (1970), Worth (1950b),
Taylor (1951)
Osceola, Orange, Collier Travis (1941)
Brevard, Indian R. FSCA,a Wilson & Kale (1972)
Alachua, Gilchrist, Sumter Taylor (1951)
Alachua Boardman (1929)
Palm Beach Carpenter et al. (1946)
"Statewide" Hoff et al. (1975)
Ixodes scapularis "Northern Florida" Rogers (1953)
Hillsborough Worth (1950b), Taylor (1951)
Monroe Worth (1950a)
Alachua, Dade, Sumter Taylor (1951)
Alachua Boardman (1929)
Orange, Osceola, Collier Travis (1941)
Indian R., Brevard FSCA
Palm Beach Carpenter et al. (1946)
Amblyomma americanum "Florida" Bishopp & Trembley (1945)
(nymphs)
SFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.

Table 2-4
Mites reported from opossums in Florida

Location
Species of mite (county) Data source

Haemogamasus harperi "Florida" Keegan (1951)
Ornithonyssus bacoti Hillsborough Worth (1950a, 1950b)
Walchia americana Alachua Rohani & Cromroy (1979)
Eutrombicula splendens Levy "
Collier Ewing (1943)
Eutrombicula sp. Hillsborough Worth (1950b)



pects. The one exception is Anatrichosoma and tongue (Figure 2-1). Female worms (Fig-
buccalis. Kinsella and Winegarner (1975) ure 2-2) deposit eggs (Figure 2-3) in these
provided data on the prevalence of A. buc- tunnels, which eventually are liberated into
calls in opossums of various ages in High- the mouth due to sloughing of the surface
lands County. The youngest animals with in- epithelium. The eggs pass out of the opossum
fections were five months of age. By six by way of the digestive tract (Pence and Little
months 50% of the opossums were infected 1972). Kinsella and Winegarner (1975) ob-
and by seven months 63% were infected. This served that lesions caused by this egg-laying
parasite is found in tunnels in the superficial activity in the tunnels disappeared in as little
layers of the mucosa of the hard palate, gums, as three days. Infections of high intensity were






12 Opossums

Table 2-5
Fleas reported from opossums in Florida

Species of flea Location (county) Data source
Xenopsylla cheopis Hillsborough Worth (1950b)
Pulex simulans Hillsborough
Alachua, Highlands Layne (1971)
Ctenocephalides felis Hillsborough Worth (1950b)
Alachua, Highlands Layne (1971), FSCA"
Levy, Marion FSCA
Echidnophaga gallinacea Hillsborough Worth (1950b)
Alachua, Highlands Layne (1971), FSCA
Polygenis gwyni Hillsborough Worth (1950b)
Collier FSCA
Dade Worth (1950a)
Osceola Fox (1940)
Alachua, Highlands, Levy Layne (1971)
Orchopeas howardii Indian River "
a FSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida
Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.


rare and would indicate that this nematode is records of this in opossums in Florida were
of minor consequence to opossums. found. Dermacentor variabilis also is a vector
A comprehensive study of the helminths of of the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain
opossums in Florida should be conducted in spotted fever (Strickland et al. 1976).
order to evaluate the significance of these par- Chiggers such as Walchia americana and
asites to populations of this marsupial. Eutrombicula spp. can produce itching and
may lead to secondary bacterial infections
(Rohani and Cromroy 1979). Two of the
XI. Arthropods mites (0. bacoti and E. splendens) are pri-
marily parasites of cotton rats and rice rats
Fifteen species of parasitic arthropods are in Florida (Worth 1950a). In addition, one
known from opossums in Florida. These in- of these (0. bacoti) is a biological vector of
clude three species of ticks (Table 2-3), five filarial worms (Litomosoides carinii and L.
species of mites (Table 2-4), six species of scotti) of cotton rats and rice rats in Florida
fleas (Table 2-5), and one blowfly (Diptera). (Forrester and Kinsella 1973). It is not known
The three species of ticks (Dermacentor if these filariids infect opossums.
variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Ambly- The sticktight flea (Echidnophaga gallina-
omma americanum) have been found on cea) is primarily a parasite of domestic fowl,
many other mammals in Florida, including and opossums probably acquire infestations
white-tailed deer, feral hogs, fox squirrels, from their association with poultry houses
black bears, gray foxes, bobcats, and Florida (Layne 1971). The most ubiquitous flea of
panthers. These ticks are common also on small mammals in Florida is Polygenis gwyni,
various mammals in Georgia, including and this probably accounts for its being re-
opossums (Wilson and Baker 1972). All of ported from opossums in seven counties in
the ticks can cause tick paralysis, although no Florida. Layne (1971) reported that this flea






Opossums 13

was more prevalent during the cooler times XIII. Literature cited
of year in Florida and more abundant in the
spring. The primary host in Florida is the Barr, T.R.B. 1961. Experimental rabies in the
cotton rat (Layne 1971). Some of the fleas and opossum (Didelphis marsupialis virginiana
ticks reported from opossums might serve as Kerr). Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana.
vectors for Francisella tularensis, the etiologic 83 pp.
1963. Infectious diseases in the opos-
agent of tularemia (Jelhlson 1974). sum: A review. J. Wildl. Manage. 27:53-71.
In April 1969 an opossum was found in Beamer, P.D., C.O. Mohr, and T.R.B. Barr.
Lake County with a blowfly infection, proba- 1960. Resistance of the opossum to rabies
bly secondary to trauma of some kind (rec- virus. Am. J. Vet. Res. 21:507-510.
ords from the Florida State Collection of Ar- Bigler, W.J. 1969. Venezuelan encephalitis anti-
thropods). Twenty-three larvae of Lucilia body studies in certain Florida wildlife. Bull.
illustris were collected and identified by W.P. Wildl. Dis. Assoc. 5:267-270.
Henderson, who wrote: "These were found .- 1971. Serologic evidence of Venezue-
on an opossum wandering around with his lan equine encephalitis virus infections in
eyes and nose completely eaten away down raccoons of south central Florida. J. Wildl.
to the bone. A gruesome sight to say the least. Dis. 7:166-170.
Shis s- Bigler, W.J., E. Lassing, E. Buff, A.L. Lewis, and
I don't know what kept him alive." This spe- .
I dot kow wat ket him alie." G.L. Hoff. 1975. Arbovirus surveillance in
cies of blowfly normally breeds in meat or Florida: Wild vertebrate studies 1965-1974.
carrion, but can function as a parasite and J. Wildl. Dis. 11:348-356.
result in facultative traumatic myiasis as seen Bishopp, F.C., and H.L. Trembley. 1945. Distri-
in the opossum described above (Harwood bution and hosts of certain North American
and James 1979). ticks. J. Parasitol. 31:1-54.
Boardman, E.T. 1929. Ticks of the Gainesville
area. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, Gaines-
ville. 57 pp.
XII. Summary and conclusions Brown, L.N. 1987. A checklist of Florida's
mammals. Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 6 pp.
Forty-eight different parasites, disease agents, Burridge, M.J., L.A. Sawyer, and W.J. Bigler.
and environmental contaminants have been 1986. Rabies in Florida. Department of
identified from opossums in Florida. These Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahas-
include one pesticide, one radionuclide, seven see, Fla. 147 pp.
viruses, five bacteria, two fungi, two protozo- Burridge, M.J., W.J. Bigler, D.J. Forrester, and
ans, five trematodes, nine nematodes, one J.M. Hennemann. 1979. Serologic survey-for
acanthocephalan, three ticks, five mites, six Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals in Flor-
fleas, and one blowfly. There is no evidence ida. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 175:964-967.
that any of these are of significance to popula- Carpenter, S.J., R.W. Chamberlain, and L.
tions of opossums in Florida. A number of Peeples. 1946. Tick collections at army in-
tions of opossums in Florida. A number of i r ^ j
stallations in the Fourth Service Command.
these disease agents are of public health im- Entomol. News 57:71-76.
portance, including the agents of rabies, en- Esslinger, J.H., and J.L. Smith. 1979. Dipetalo-
cephalitis, leptospirosis, tularemia, Chagas' nema (Acanthocheilonema) didelphis sp.n.
disease, toxoplasmosis, and trichinellosis. (Nematoda: Filarioidea) from opossums,
Several of the ticks, mites, and fleas may infest with a redescription of D. (A.) pricei (Vaz
man, at least temporarily, and Pereira 1934). J. Parasitol. 65:928-933.






14 Opossums

Ewing, H.E. 1943. The American chiggers (lar- ida for the incidence of American trypano-
vae of the Trombiculinae) of the genus Aca- somiasis in insect vectors and reservoir
riscus, new genus. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. animals. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida,
45:57-66. Gainesville. 71 pp.
Feldman, D.B., J.A. Moore, M.W. Harris, and Jellison, W.L. 1974. Tularemia in North
J.L. Self. 1972. Characteristics of common America. Univ. of Montana Foundation,
helminths of the Virginia opossum (Di- Missoula. 276 pp.
delphis virginiana) from North Carolina. Jenkins, J.H., and T.T. Fendley. 1968. The ex-
Lab. Anim. Sci. 22:183-189. tent of contamination, detection, and health
Forrester, D.J. 1990. Unpublished data. Univ. significance of high accumulations of radio-
of Florida, Gainesville. activity in southern game populations. Proc.
Forrester, D.J., and J.M. Kinsella. 1973. Com- Ann. Conf. S.E. Assoc. Game Fish Comm.
parative morphology and ecology of two spe- 22:89-95.
cies of Litomosoides (Nematoda: Filari- Jennings, W.L., A.L. Lewis, G.E. Sather, W.M.
oidea) of rodents in Florida, with a key to Hammon, and J.O. Bond. 1968. California-
the species of Litomosoides Chandler, 1931. encephalitis-group viruses in Florida rabbits:
Int. J. Parasitol. 3:255-263. Report of experimental and sentinel studies.
Fox, I. 1940. Fleas of eastern United States. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 17:781-787.
Iowa State Coll. Press, Ames. 191 pp. Jennings, W.L., W.G. Winkler, D.D. Stamm,
Gainer, J.H., and W.J. Bigler. 1967. Encephalo- P.H. Coleman, and A.L. Lewis. 1969. Sero-
myocarditis (EMC) virus recovered from two logic studies of possible avian or mammalian
cotton rats and a raccoon. Bull. Wildl. Dis. reservoirs of St. Louis encephalitis virus in
Assoc. 3:47-49. Florida. Fla. State Board of Health Monogr.
Gainer, J.H., J.R. Sandefur, and W.J. Bigler. Series, no. 12, pp. 118-125.
1968. High mortality in a Florida swine herd Keegan, H.L. 1951. The mites of the subfamily
infected with the encephalomyocarditis vi- Haemogamasinae (Acari: Laelaptidae).
rus. An accompanying epizootiologic survey. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 101:203-268.
Cornell Vet. 58:31-47. Kinsella, J.M. 1987. Unpublished data. Arch-
Gardner, A.L. 1982. Virginia opossum. In: Wild bold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla.
mammals of North America. J.A. Chapman Kinsella, J.M., and R.W. Heard. 1974. Mor-
and G.A. Feldhamer (eds.). Johns Hopkins phology and life cycle of Stictodora cursitans
Univ. Press, Baltimore. pp. 3-36. n. comb. (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) from
Harwood, R.F., and M.T. James. 1979. Ento- mammals in Florida salt marshes. Trans.
mology in human and animal health. 7th ed. Am. Micros. Soc. 93:408-412.
Macmillan, New York. 548 pp. Kinsella, J.M., and C.E. Winegarner. 1975. A
Hoff, G.L., W.J. Bigler, and E.C. Prather. 1975. field study of Anatrichosoma infections in
One-half century of tularemia in Florida. J. the opossum, Didelphis virginiana. J. Parasi-
Fla. Med. Assoc. 62:35-37. tol. 61:779-781.
Hoff, G.L., W.J. Bigler, D.O. Trainer, J.G. Deb- Layne, J.N. 1968. Host and ecological relation-
bie, G.M. Brown, W.G. Winkler, S.H. Rich- ships of the parasitic helminth Capillaria he-
ards, and M. Reardon. 1974. Survey of se- patica in Florida mammals. Zoologica
lected carnivore and opossum serums for 53:107-122.
agglutinins to Brucella canis. J. Am. Vet. 1971. Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Florida.
Med. Assoc. 165:830-831. Fla. Entomol. 54:35-51.
Hutton, R.F. 1964. A second list of parasites Loftin, H. 1961. An annotated check-list of
from marine and coastal animals of Florida. trematodes and cestodes and their vertebrate
Trans. Am. Micros. Soc. 83:439-447. hosts from northwest Florida. Quart. J. Fla.
Irons, E.M. 1971. A survey of the state of Flor- Acad. Sci. 23:302-314.






Opossums 15

Lord, R.D., C.H. Calisher, W.D. Sudia, and Potkay, S. 1970. Diseases of the opossum (Di-
T.H. Work. 1973. Ecological investigations delphis marsupialis): A review. Lab. Anim.
of vertebrate hosts of Venezuelan equine en- Care 20:502-511.
cephalomyelitis virus in south Florida. Am. 1977. Diseases of marsupials. In: The
J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 22:116-123. biology of marsupials. D. Hunsaker (ed.).
McKeever, S., G.W. Gorman, J.D. Chapman, Academic, New York. pp. 415-506.
M.M. Galton, and D.K. Powers. 1958a. Inci- Rand, A.L., and P. Host. 1942. Results of the
dence of leptospirosis in wild mammals from Archbold Expeditions No. 45. Mammal
southwestern Georgia, with a report of new notes from Highlands County, Florida. Bull.
hosts for six serotypes of leptospires. Am. J. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 80:1-21.
Trop. Med. Hyg. 7:646-655. Rogers, A.J. 1953. A study of the ixodid ticks
McKeever, S., J.H. Schubert, M.D. Moody, of northern Florida, including the biology
G.W. Gorman, and J.F. Chapman. 1958b. and life history of Ixodes scapularis Say (Ixo-
Natural occurrence of tularemia in marsupi- didae: Acarina). Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Mary-
als, carnivores, lagomorphs, and large ro- land, College Park. 191 pp.
dents in southwestern Georgia and north- Rohani, I.B., and H.L. Cromroy. 1979. Taxon-
western Florida. J. Inf. Dis. 103:120-126. omy and distribution of chiggers (Acarina:
McKeever, S., G.W. Gorman, and L. Norman. Trombiculidae) in northcentral Florida. Fla.
1958c. Occurrence of a Trypanosoma cruzi- Entomol. 62:363-376.
like organism in some mammals from south- Sather, G.E., A.L. Lewis, W. Jennings, J.O.
western Georgia and northwestern Florida. Bond, and W.M. Hammon. 1970. Sawgrass
J. Parasitol. 44:583-587. virus: A newly described arbovirus in Flor-
McKeever, S., W. Kaplan, and L. Ajello. 1958d. ida. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 19:319-326.
Ringworm fungi of large wild mammals in Sauerman, D.M., Jr., and J.K. Nayar. 1985.
southwestern Georgia and northwestern Prevalence of presumed Dirofilaria tenuis
Florida. Am. J. Vet. Res. 19:973-975. microfilariae in raccoons near Vero Beach,
McLean, R.G. 1988. Unpublished data. CDC, Florida. J. Parasitol. 71:130-132.
Fort Collins, Colo. Scholtens, R.G., and L. Norman. 1971. Trichi-
Miller, G.C., and R. Harkema. 1970. Helminths nella spiralis in Florida wildlife. J. Parasitol.
of the opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in 57:1103.
North Carolina. Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Shotts, E.B., C.L. Andrews, and T.W. Harvey.
Wash. 37:36-39. 1975. Leptospirosis in selected wild mam-
Morgan, B.B. 1941. A summary of the Physa- mals of the Florida panhandle and south-
lopterinae (Nematoda) of North America. western Georgia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.
Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Wash. 8:28-30. 167:587-589.
Norman, L., M.M. Brooke, D.S. Allain, and Stewart, T.B., and D. Dean. 1971. Didelpho-
G.W. Gorman. 1959. Morphology and viru- nema longispiculata (Hill, 1939) Wolfgang,
lence of Trypanosoma cruzi-like hemofla- 1953 (Nematoda: Spiruroidea) and other
gellates isolated from wild mammals in helminths from the opossum (Didelphis mar-
Georgia and Florida. J. Parasitol. 45:457- supialis virginiana) in Georgia. J. Parasitol.
463. 57:687-688.
Pence, D.P., and M.D. Little. 1972. Anatricho- Strickland, R.K., R.R. Gerrish, J.L. Hourigan,
soma buccalis sp.n. (Nematoda: Trichoso- and G.O. Schubert. 1976. Ticks of veterinary
moididae) from the buccal mucosa of the importance. APHIS-USDA Agr. Handbook
common opossum, Didelphis marsupialis L. No. 485. Washington, D.C. 122 pp.
J. Parasitol. 58: 767-773. Syverton, J.T., and G.P. Berry. 1940. Host range
Penner, L.R. 1987. Unpublished data. Archbold of equine encephalomyelitis: Susceptibility
Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla. of the North American cottontail rabbit, jack






16 Opossums

rabbit, field vole, woodchuck and opossum Wheeler, W.B., D.P. Jouvenaz, D.P. Wojcik,
to experimental infection. Am. J. Hyg. W.A. Banks, C.H. VanMiddelem, C.S. Lof-
32:19-23. gren, S. Nesbitt, L. Williams, and R. Brown.
Taylor, D.J. 1951. The distribution of ticks 1977. Mirex residues in nontarget organisms
in Florida. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, after application of 10-5 bait for fire ant
Gainesville. 124 pp. control, northeast Florida, 1972-74. Pest.
Taylor, D.J., A.L. Lewis, J.D. Edman, and W.L. Monit. J. 11:146-156.
Jennings. 1971. California group arbovi- White, F.H. 1988. Unpublished data. Univ. of
ruses in Florida. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. Florida, Gainesville.
20:139-145. Wilson, N., and W.W. Baker. 1972. Ticks of
Trainer, D.O., and L.H. Karstad. 1963. Experi- Georgia (Acarina: Metastigmata). Bull. Tall
mental pseudorabies in some North Ameri- Timbers Res. Sta. 10:1-29.
can mammals. Zoon. Res. 2: 135-151. Wilson, N., and H.W. Kale. 1972. Ticks col-
Travis, B.V. 1941. Examinations of wild ani- lected from Indian River County, Florida
mals for the cattle tick Boophilus annulatus (Acari: Metastigmata: Ixodidae). Fla. Ento-
microplus (Can.) in Florida. J. Parasitol. mol. 55:53-57.
27:465-467. Worth, C.B. 1950a. Observations on ectopara-
Walton, A.C. 1927. A revision of the nematodes sites of some small mammals in Everglades
of the Leidy collections. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. National Park and Hillsborough County,
Phila. 79:49-163. Florida. J. Parasitol. 36:326-335.
Wellings, F.M., A.L. Lewis, and L.V. Pierce. 1950b. A preliminary host-ectopara-
1972. Agents encountered during arboviral site register for some small mammals of Flor-
ecological studies: Tampa Bay area, Florida, ida. J. Parasitol. 36:497-498.
1963 to 1970. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.
21:201-213.






00H









CHAPTER THREE




Moles and Shrews



\- \








I. Introduction.................................................... 17
II. Environmental contaminants .......................... 18
III. Rabies ............................................................ 18
IV. Bacteria .......................................................... 18
V. H elm inths ....................................................... 18
VI. Arthropods.......................... ........................ 19
VII. Summary and conclusions............................... 19
VIII. Literature cited....................... ..................... 19

I. Introduction

Four species of insectivores are found in Flor- icus anastasae) is under review by the U.S.
ida, including three shrews and one mole (Ta- Fish and Wildlife Service, but according to
ble 3-1). One of these, the southeastern Humphrey et al. (1987) it is secure. The En-
shrew, is Florida's smallest mammal (Brown glewood mole (S. a. bassi) is under study by
1978). Subspecies of two of the shrews are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wood
listed as species of special concern by the Flor- 1990) and may be endangered.
ida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Lowery (1974) gave some information on
(Wood 1990). These are the Homosassa the parasites of these four insectivores. In his
shrew (S. 1. eionis), found only in the vicinity discussion of the parasites of the Eastern
of Homosassa Springs in Citrus County mole, he stated that moles "have few external
(Brown 1978), and Sherman's short-tailed parasites," but a recent summary of parasites
shrew (B. c. shermani), which occurs only in of moles in North America (Yates and Ped-
Lee County about two miles north of Fort ersen 1982, p. 91) listed 5 species of fleas, 1
Myers (Layne 1978). The survival status of sucking louse, and 10 mites from the Eastern
the Anastasia Island mole (Scalopus aquat- mole.







18 Moles and Shrews

Table 3-1
Species of insectivores that occur in Florida

Common and Range in
scientific names Florida Status
Family Soricidae
(Shrews)
Southeastern shrew
(Sorex longirostris Bachman) No. 2/3 Rare
Southern short-tailed shrew
(Blarina carolinensis [Bachman]) Statewidea Common
Least shrew
(Cryptotis parva [Say]) Statewidea Common
Family Talpidae
(Moles)
Eastern mole
(Scalopus aquaticus [L.]) Statewide" Abundant
Source: Brown (1987).
aAbsent from the Florida Keys.


I. Environmental contaminants sectivores are probably of little or no impor-
tance in the epidemiology of rabies.
The only information available on environ-
mental contaminants in insectivores in Flor-
ida relates to residues of mirex in a controlled IV. Bacteria
study conducted on the Dee Dot Ranch in
Duval and St. Johns counties during 1972- Only one study has been conducted in which
74. In that study, one least shrew was exam- insectivores in Florida were cultured for bac-
ined six months after aerial application of teria. Shotts et al. (1975) recovered a strain
mirex for control of fire ants and had 1.29 of Leptospira from one least shrew (locality
ppm of mirex residue. This concentration was not given). The serovar was not identified and
considered moderately high, reflected the in- the significance of this finding is unknown.
sectivorous feeding habits of the shrew, and
was comparable to residues in other insectiv-
orous species such as armadillos and certain V. Helminths
passeriforms (Wheeler et al. 1977). The sig-
nificance of this finding to shrew populations There is little information on helminths of
in Florida is not known, insectivores in Florida. Layne (1968) exam-
ined 10 least shrews from Alachua County, 5
southern short-tailed shrews from Alachua
III. Rabies County and 1 from Highlands County, and
4 Eastern moles from Alachua County and 1
From 1975 to 1983, 56 moles and 2 shrews from Lake County for infections by Capilla-
(species not given) were examined for rabies ria hepatica. All were negative. Kinsella
virus in Florida (Burridge et al. 1986). All (1987) identified two species of trematodes
were negative. As is the case for rodents, in- (Ectosiphonus rhomboideus and Panopistus







Moles and Shrews 19

Table 3-2
Arthropod parasites recorded from insectivores in Florida

Host
Arthropod County Data source

Least shrews
Ticks
Ixodes scapularis" Indian River Wilson & Kale (1972)
Mites
Haemolaelaps glasgowib Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Fleas
Ctenocephalides felis Sumter Layne (1971)
Xenopsylla cheopisb Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Corrodopsylla hamiltoni Alachua Layne (1971)
Eastern moles
Mites
Haemogamasus harperi Putnam Keegan (1951)
Alachua FSCAC
aAll specimens were larvae.
bRecorded as being from a short-tailed shrew by Worth (1950), but he gave the scientific name of
the shrew as Cryptotis parva. It is assumed that the scientific name is correct and that this is a least
shrew, not a short-tailed shrew.
cFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry,
Florida Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla. This specimen is labeled as from Scapanus
latimanus, the broad-footed mole, which is found in the western United States. It is assumed that
this was actually from the Eastern mole, which is the only mole occurring in Florida.


pricei) from a southern short-tailed shrew in VII. Summary and conclusions
Highlands County.
An immature male Eastern mole from Ala- Very little information is available on the par-
chua County (1973) was examined for hel- asites and diseases of insectivores in Florida,
minths. One specimen of a species of Strongy- and what is known is limited to records of one
loides was in its stomach (Forrester 1987). environmental contaminant, one bacterium,
No other helminths were found, three helminths, one tick, two mites, and
three fleas. Of these, the bacterium (Lepto-
spira) and one of the fleas (Xenopsylla

VI. Arthropods cheopis) may be of public health significance.

Six species of arthropod parasites have been
reported from insectivores in Florida, and in- VIII. Literature cited
clude one tick, two mites, and three fleas (Ta-
ble 3-2). The data on these arthropods are Brown, L.N. 1978. Southeastern shrew and Ho-
too meager to determine their importance to mosassa shrew. In: Rare and endangered bi-
insectivore populations or their zoonotic sig- ota of Florida. Vol. 1. Mammals. J.N. Layne
nificance, although the flea Xenopsylla (ed.). Univ. Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
cheopis is of concern since it is a vector of the pp. 30-31.
agents of plague and typhus. --- 1987. A checklist of Florida's mam-






20 Moles and Shrews

mals. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Shotts, E.B., C.L. Andrews, and T.W. Harvey.
Commission, Tallahassee. 8 pp. 1975. Leptospirosis in selected wild mam-
Burridge, M.J., L.A. Sawyer, and W.J. Bigler. mals of the Florida panhandle and south-
1986. Rabies in Florida. Department of western Georgia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.
Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahas- 167:587-589.
see, Fla. 147 pp. Wheeler, W.B., D.P. Jouvenaz, D.P. Wojcik,
Forrester, D.J. 1987. Unpublished data. Univ. W.A. Banks, C.H. VanMiddelem, C.S. Lof-
of Florida, Gainesville. gren, S. Nesbitt, L. Williams, and R. Brown.
Humphrey, S.R., W.H. Kern, Jr., and M.S. Lud- 1977. Mirex residues in nontarget organisms
low. 1987. Status survey of seven Florida after application of 10-5 bait for fire ant
mammals. Fla. Coop. Fish & Wildl. Res. control, northeast Florida, 1972-1974. Pest.
Unit Tech. Rep. No. 25. 39 pp. Monit. J. 11:146-156.
Keegan, H.L. 1951. The mites of the subfamily Wilson, N., and H.W. Kale. 1972. Ticks col-
Haemogamasinae (Acari: Laelaptidae). lected from Indian River County, Florida
Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 101:203-268. (Acari: Metastigmata: Ixodidae). Fla. Ento-
Kinsella, J.M. 1987. Unpublished data. Arch- mol. 55:53-57.
bold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla. Wood, D.A. 1990. Official lists of endangered
Layne, J.N. 1968. Host and ecological relation- and potentially endangered fauna and flora
ships of the parasitic helminth Capillaria he- in Florida. Florida Game and Fresh Water
patica in Florida mammals. Zoologica. Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 19 pp.
53:107-122. Worth, C.B. 1950. A preliminary host-ectopar-
- 1971. Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Florida. asite register for some small mammals of
Fla. Entomol. 54:35-51. Florida. J. Parasitol. 36:497-498.
- 1978. Sherman's short-tailed shrew. Yates, T.L., and R.J. Pedersen. 1982. Moles
In: Rare and endangered biota of Florida. (Talpidae). In: Wild mammals of North
Vol. 1. Mammals. J.N. Layne (ed.). Univ. America. Biology, management, and eco-
Presses of Florida, Gainesville. pp. 42-43. nomics. J.A. Chapman and G.A. Feldhamer
Lowery, G.H., Jr. 1974. The mammals of Loui- (eds.). Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore.
siana and its adjacent waters. Louisiana State pp. 37-51.
Univ. Press, Baton Rouge. 565 pp.








CHAPTER FOUR




Bats











I. Introduction ................................................. 21
II. Traum a ................................... ................ 21
III. Environmental contaminants .......................... 23
IV. Rabies ..................................................... ....... 24
V. Histoplasmosis ...................................... ......... 27
VI. Protozoan parasites...................................... 28
VII. Helminths ............................................. 29
VIII. Arthropods............................ .................. 29
IX. Summary and conclusions............................... 31
X. Literature cited.............................. .............. 31


I. Introduction

Bats are "among the most abundant mam- bats of North America has been reviewed
mals on earth today" (Gillette and Kim- by Ubelaker (1970) and Humphrey (1982).
brough 1970, p. 262). Currently there are Several other authors have written on the
more than 940 species in the world (Nowak public health aspects of bats and diseases
and Paradiso 1983), of which 16 occur in (Constantine 1970; Sulkin and Allen 1970;
Florida (Brown 1987). Stevenson (1976) Tuttle and Kern 1981; Constantine 1985).
listed the Jamaican fruit-eating bat, Artibeus The review by Constantine (1970) is espe-
jamaicensis Leach, from Key West, but Hum- cially well done and thorough.
phrey and Brown (1986) determined that this
record was not valid. Of the 16 species, 14 are
vespertilionid bats (Family Vespertilionidae) II. Trauma
and 2 are free-tailed bats (Family Molos-
sidae). Several species are listed as rare or The importance of predation and accidents
endangered (Table 4-1). as mortality factors for bats was discussed by
The literature on parasites and diseases of Gillette and Kimbrough (1970). They listed






22 Bats

Table 4-1
Species of bats that occur in Florida

Common and scientific names Range in Florida Status

Family Vespertilionidae
(Vespertilionid bats)
1. Little brown bat
Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte) No. border Uncommon
2. Gray bat
Myotis grisescens A.H. Howell No. panhandle Uncommona
3. Keen's bat
Myotis keenii (Merriam) No. panhandle Uncommonb
4. Southeastern brown bat
Myotis austroriparius (Rhoads) No. 2/3 Abundant
5. Indiana bat
Myotis sodalis Miller and G.M. Allen No. panhandle Uncommona
6. Silver-haired bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans (Le Conte) Panhandle Uncommon
7. Eastern pipistrelle
Pipistrellus subflavus (F. Cuvier) Statewidec Common
8. Rafinesque's big-eared bat
Plecotus rafinesquii Lesson No. 2/3 Uncommonb
9. Big brown bat
Eptesicus fuscus (Palisot de Beauvois) Statewide' Uncommonb
10. Hoary bat
Lasiurus cinereus (Palisot de Beauvois) No. 1/3 Commonb
11. Red bat
Lasiurus borealis (Muller) No. 2/3 Common
12. Seminole bat
Lasiurus seminolus (Rhoads) Statewide' Common
13. Yellow bat
Lasiurus intermedius H. Allen Statewidec Abundant
14. Evening bat
Nycticeius humeralis Rafinesque Statewidec Common
Family Molossidae
(Free-tailed bats)
15. Brazilian free-tailed bat
Tadarida brasiliensis (I. Geoffroy) Statewidec Common
16. Wagner's mastiff bat
Eumops glaucinus (Wagner) So. 1/4c Uncommon
Source: Brown (1987).
a Listed as "endangered" by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service (Wood 1990).
b Classified as "rare" by the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals
(Layne 1978).
c Absent from the Florida Keys.






Bats 23

the known cases of predation by mammals, DDT, dieldrin, and PCBs (quantified as Aro-
birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and inverte- clor 1260) that were far below concentrations
brates, and also documented a number of associated with harmful effects in bats (Clark
deaths due to adverse weather, flooding of 1978; Clark et al. 1982). All three caves con-
caves, fires, entanglement in plants or on tained predominantly southeastern brown
fences, and the like. bats and a smaller number (approximately
There is little specific information on such 10%) of gray bats. In July 1984, 30 red and
mortality among bats in Florida. Rice (1957) Seminole bats from Bay, Escambia, and Santa
stated that predation by rat snakes (Elaphe Rosa counties were examined for residues of
obsoleta), corn snakes (Elaphe guttata), and organochlorines. Trace amounts (< 1 ppm)
opossums (Didelphis virginiana) was a sig- of DDE, dieldrin, and heptachlor epoxide
nificant factor in populations of southeastern were detected in samples of liver and gastro-
brown bats in Florida. He also reported that intestinal contents (SCWDS records).
very young bats frequently were preyed upon The same guano samples mentioned above
by cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and were analyzed for concentrations of lead,
P. australasiae) after falling to the floors of chromium, zinc, and cadmium. In addition,
caves. He felt that these roaches were impor- livers and kidneys from 20 southeastern
tant predators and ranked next only to rat brown bats (10 from Judges Cave in Jackson
snakes in significance. County and 10 from beneath a highway
bridge in Gainesville, Alachua County) were
analyzed for the same four metals. Judges
III. Environmental contaminants Cave is the most important gray bat cave in
Florida and is located on the Chipola River
Bats are known to be affected adversely by 11.3 km upstream from a part of the river
PCBs and a number of pesticides, including that is contaminated by metals originating
DDT, dieldrin, endrin, and chlordane (Luc- from a battery salvage plant (Clark et al.
kens and Davis 1964, 1965; Kunz et al. 1977; 1986). Concentrations of chromium, zinc,
Clark and Lamont 1976; Clark 1988). Be- and cadmium were elevated in guano samples
cause of their sensitivity to chlorinated hydro- from two of the caves (Judges and Sneads
carbons, such compounds often have been caves) and cadmium was higher also at Ge-
used to kill bats in areas where they are un- romes Cave. Concentrations of lead (consid-
wanted (Constantine 1970). Clark et al. ered slightly elevated) were found in guano
(1986) examined guano samples from three from one of the caves (Geromes Cave). De-
bat caves in Jackson County, Florida, for resi- tails are presented in Table 4-2. Concentra-
dues of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDT, tions of cadmium were elevated in livers and
dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, oxychlordane, kidneys of bats from Judges Cave compared
cis-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, cis-non- to bats from Gainesville (Table 4-3). The au-
achlor, endrin, toxaphene, and PCBs. This thors concluded that these concentrations
was done since it has been determined that were below those associated with pathologic
analysis of a single sample of guano from effects in other mammals and that this
beneath a colony of bats will provide an accu- amount of metal pollution was not harmful
rate measure of the pesticide contamination to the bats (Clark et al. 1986).
of those bats (Clark et al. 1982). The samples Wheeler et al. (1977) conducted a moni-
contained only small amounts (< 1 ppm) of toring study in which two red bats and two






24 Bats

Table 4-2 Table 4-3
Concentrations (ppm dry wt) of metals in single Mean concentrations (ppm wet wt) of metals in
samples of bat guano from 3 caves in Jackson livers and kidneys of 20 southeastern brown
County, Florida in 1981 bats from Jackson and Alachua counties, 1983

Cave Lead Chromium Zinc Cadmium Liver Kidney
Judges 3.4 2.7 640 2.2 Area N Zinc Cadmium Cadmium
Geromes 6.1 0.83 390 1.9 Judges Cave 10 31.0 0.612 0.998
Sneads 3.9 5.0 530 2.3 Gainesville 10 28.5 0.256 0.266
Source: Clark et al. (1986). Source: Clark et al. (1986).

evening bats were collected before mirex (an
organochlorine insecticide formerly used for report 9 of the 16 species of Florida bats have
control of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta) was been found to be infected with rabies virus
applied aerially to the Dee Dot Ranch in Du- (Burridge et al. 1986). These are summarized
val and St. Johns counties. No residues (at > in Table 4-4. Rabid bats have been found
0.01 ppm concentration) were detected in the throughout Florida except in the extreme
four bats. One evening bat was collected one southern end of the state (Burridge et al.
year after application, and two were collected 1986) (Figure 4-1).
two years after application. At one year no Up until 1983 most of the cases were in
residues were detected, but at two years after yellow bats. In that year, however, the picture
application residues of 0.09 ppm were found changed somewhat in that the number of
in the two evening bats. The authors did cases of bat rabies increased statewide and
not draw any conclusions concerning these actually outnumbered the number of cases
findings in bats, but stated that mammals in reported from raccoons (69 vs. 56). This was
general had higher concentrations of mirex largely due to outbreaks that occurred in Du-
in fat tissues than did other vertebrates and val (n = 18 bats) and Escambia (n = 19 bats)
invertebrates. The significance of these obser-
vations to bat populations is unknown. Table 4-4
Species of bats found rabid in Florida, 1953-73

IV. Rabies No. % of all
Species rabid rabid bats
Constantine (1970) published a very detailed Colonial
review of rabies in bats, and since that time Gray bat 1 0.4
several other shorter summaries have ap- Evening bat 3 1.2
Southeastern brown bat 4 1.6
peared (Beran 1981; Humphrey 1982). The Eastern pipistrelle 6 2.4
situation in Florida bats has been reviewed Brazilian free-tailed bat 13 5.2
by Bigler et al. (1975) and Burridge et al. Noncolonil
Noncolonial
(1986). Hoary bat 1 0.4
The first record of rabies in a bat in Florida Red bat 7 2.8
was in 1953 (Venters et al. 1954). In that Seminole bat 25 10.1
instance a rabid yellow bat attacked a boy Yellow bat 188 75.8
and bit him in the upper chest. Since that first Source: Burridge et al. (1986).






Bats 25






























*two



FIGURE 4-1. Counties in Florida in which rabid bats were found from 1953 to 1987. Solid circles identify
counties in which rabid bats were found. Stars indicate counties in which epizootics have occurred. (After
Burridge et al. 1986; Bigler 1988.)

counties. Most of the bats involved were red infections occur during the month of August.
and Seminole bats (Department of Health This has been seen throughout the United
and Rehabilitative Services, 1983). During States (Baer and Adams 1970; Burridge et al.
the next four years the numbers of rabid bats 1986) and has been attributed to patterns of
from Duval County declined, but in 1986 bat migration and hibernation (Baer 1975).







of rabies in bats in Florida (Figure 4-2)* most et al. (199() determined that b ats were not






26 Bats

MONTHLY DISTRIBUTION OF BAT RABIES IN FLORIDA

6.0




5.0-



4.0-
cn


- .0-
0


E
C 2.0




0-
1.0




Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Month
FIGURE 4-2. Monthly distribution of bat rabies in Florida, 1955-83. (From Burridge et al. 1986.)

important in the transmission of rabies virus there is evidence that bats can recover from
to terrestrial animals in Florida, at least in rabies (Sulkin and Allen 1975). It is also
1987 and 1988. Through a monoclonal anti- known that rabies virus can persist for ex-
body study they were able to show that rac- tended periods of time in bats that show no
coons, but not bats, were the source of terres- overt signs of disease (Sulkin and Allen 1970).
trial animal rabies in Florida. Nothing is known about the effects of rabies
The effect of rabies on bats is variable and on populations of bats in Florida.
depends on the species of bat involved and The reader is referred to Burridge et al.
the strain of rabies virus (Sulkin and Allen (1986) for further information on bat rabies
1975). Mass mortality due to rabies has been and suggestions for control of this disease in
known to occur (Constantine 1967), but Florida.






Bats 27

V. Histoplasmosis Two other caves (names not given) had 23 of
50 (46%) and none of one bats infected. The
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease caused survey by DiSalvo et al. (1970) was more
by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Nor- extensive and included examinations of both
mally this organism is a soil saprophyte, but bats and samples of soil/guano mixtures from
it proliferates to an increased extent when bat caves. Ten of 148 soil/guano samples
soil becomes enriched with animal feces. In- from nine caves were positive for H. capsula-
fections of animals occur when airborne tur (Table 4-6). These positive samples were
spores are inhaled (Hoff and Bigler 1981). from caves in Alachua, Jackson, and Marion
The disease is known from a number of do- counties (Figure 4-3). Histoplasma capsula-
mestic and wild mammals (including opos- tur was isolated from 80 of 165 (48%)
sums, bats, and rodents) and in man (Con- southeastern brown bats, but none of 101
stantine 1970). The organism survives well eastern pipistrelles and 71 Brazilian free-
in sites that are protected from extremes of tailed bats. Positive bats came from Alachua,
climate (Constantine 1970), including old Jackson, Marion, Citrus, and Hillsborough
buildings, attics, and bat caves. In the United counties (Table 4-7; Figure 4-3).
States the disease is endemic in the Mississippi Little is known about the effects of H.
and Missouri river valleys (Lottenberg et al. capsulatum on natural populations of bats.
1979). Histoplasmosis has been documented In one experimental study on free-tailed bats
in humans in Florida on numerous occasions (Tesh and Schneidau 1966) 80% of the ex-
and since 1955 five incidents were associated posed animals died of disseminated disease.
with exposures traced to bat caves (Table 4- These bats, however, had been inoculated in-
5; Figure 4-3). traperitoneally. This route of infection may
Two surveys of Histoplasma capsulatum have resulted in more serious disease than if
in caves in Florida have been published, the the animals had been exposed via the inhala-
results of which establish Florida as an en- tion route. In several other experimental stud-
demic area for histoplasmosis. Tesh and ies with neotropical bats, infections were
Schneidau (1967) examined 156 southeast- established via the inhalation route, but re-
ern brown bats from three caves. In one of suited in no morbidity or mortality (McMur-
the caves (Grant's Cave in Alachua County, ray and Greer 1979; McMurray et al. 1978).
according to additional information provided We have no specific information on the sig-
by DiSalvo et al. 1970) 80 of 105 (76%) of nificance of histoplasmosis to Florida bats,
the bats were positive for H. capsulatum. but suspect that it could be important. None

Table 4-5
Human cases of histoplasmosis associated with bats in Florida, 1955-1982

No. Species of bats associated Location Pos. soil
Year cases with the exposures (county) samples Data source
1955 1 Not determined NGa Yes Tegeris & Smith (1958)
1966 1 Southeastern brown bat Alachua Yes Johnson et al. (1970)
1972 3 Southeastern brown bat Citrus Yes Hoff & Bigler (1981)
1973 23 Southeastern brown bat and Suwannee Yes Lottenberg et al. (1979)
eatern pipistrelle
1982 6 NG Citrus NG Sacks (1982)
a NG = not given by authors.






28 Bats





0























ftooe

FIGURE 4-3. Distribution of Histoplasma capsulatum in Florida. Black dots indicate counties in which
infected bats have been found. Circled black dots indicate counties where infected bats have been found
and humans have become infected by entering bat caves.

of 80 southeastern brown bats that were in- from a Florida bat. Foster (1979) reported
fected naturally with H. capsulatum showed Polychromophilus deani from 2 of 250 south-
signs of illness at the time of capture (DiSalvo eastern brown bats from three roosting sites
et al. 1970). in north-central Florida during 1976 and
1977. Two species of dipteran ectoparasites
were found on the infected bats and included
VI. Protozoan parasites a nycteribiid (Trichobius major). One of these
might be the vector for P. deani, but this has
A number of protozoans have been reported not been determined. The pathogenicity of
from bats throughout the world, and include this blood parasite is unknown.
trypanosomes, hemosporidians, and coccidia Rice (1957) examined about 100 south-
(Constantine 1970; Ubelaker 1970). eastern brown bats from northern Florida,
There is only one record of a protozoan but found no blood protozoans.






Bats 29

Table 4-6 Table 4-7
Recovery of Histoplasma capsulatum from Recovery of Histoplasma capsulatum from
samples of soil from bat caves in Florida, 1968 colonial bats in Florida, 1968

No. samples No. samples Species No. bats No. bats
Location exam. pos. Location of bata exam.b pos.
Alachua County Alachua County
Grant's Cave 23 2 Savior Cave SBB 20 1
Jones Cave 25 0 Jones Cave SBB 3 2
Newberry Bat Cave 9 0 Seven Sisters Cave EP 12 0
Savior Cave 34 0 Newberry Bat Cave EP 3 0
Seven Sisters Cave 12 0 SBB 1 0
Citrus County Jackson County
No Name Cave 10 0 Indian Cave EP 1 0
Jackson County SBB 6 4
Indian Cave 15 3 Small Picnic Area EP 2 0
Small Picnic Area Cave 10 0 Cave SBB 7 4
Marion County Marion County
Turnley Cave 10 5 Turnley Cave SBB 37 23
Total 148 10 Citrus County
No Name Cave SBB 58 37
Source: DiSalvo et al. (1970). Hernando County
Hernando County
Brooksville (attic) BFB 71 0
Hillsborough County
Tampa (sewer) SBB 15 9
VII. Helminths Source: DiSalvo et al. (1970).
a SBB = southeastern brown bat, EP = eastern pipistrelle,
BFB = Brazilian free-tailed bat.
Bats are hosts for a large number and variety b DiSalvo et al. (1970) listed 29 additional bats that were
of helminths, including trematodes, cestodes, examined for H. capsulatum. These were animals submitted
nematodes, and acanthocephalans (Ubelaker for rabies testing and all (except for 2 yellow bats from Fort
Lauderdale) came from areas north of Orlando. Among
1970). Two species of helminths have been these were 5 southeastern brown bats, 14 yellow bats, 4
reported from bats in Florida. Loftin (1961) Seminole bats, and 6 evening bats. The only bat positive for
H. capsulatum was one of the southeastern brown bats from
recorded a trematode (Lecithodendrium sp.) Lake County.
from a yellow bat from St. Marks Wildlife
Refuge (Wakulla County) and Kinsella VIII. Arthropods
(1987) found a trematode (Dicrocoelium rile-
yi) in an evening bat from Highlands County. Eleven species of parasitic arthropods are
Further investigation will undoubtedly known from three species of bats in Florida,
lead to the finding of a rich helminth fauna namely, the southeastern brown bat, the eve-
in bats in Florida. An extensive study of 18 ning bat, and the Brazilian free-tailed bat.
species of bats in Cuba resulted in the identi- These include one tick, six mites, one flea,
fication of 12 species of trematodes, 9 ces- two flies, and one bug (Table 4-8).
todes, 27 nematodes, and 2 acanthocepha- Ticks are not found often on bats (Ube-
lans (Rutkowska 1980; Zdzitowiecki and laker 1970). The record of Ornithodoros yu-
Rutkowska 1980a, 1980b). Similar results matensis from a southeastern brown bat in
could be expected in Florida. Gainesville (Bain and Zinn 1982, p. 510) was







30 Bats

Table 4-8
Arthropod parasites reported from bats in Florida

Species of bat
Brazilian
Southeastern Evening free- Locality
Arthropod brown bat bat tailed bat (county) Data source

Ticks
Ornithodoros yumatensis La Alachuab Bain (1981), Bain &
Zinn (1982)
Mites
Steatonyssus ceratognathus + Lee FSCAc
Ichoronyssus quadridentatus +d Alachua Rice (1957), Baker &
Strandtmann (1959)
Chiroptonyssus robustipes A Hamilton Radovsky (1967)
Radfordia floridensis A Leon Ewing (1938)
Radfordia inaequalis A Leon "
Spirturnix sp. +d Alachua Rice (1957), Baker &
Strandtmann (1959)
Fleas
Sternopsylla distincta Ae Af See footnotes See footnotes e and f
e and f
Flies
Basilia boardmani A Alachuag Bain (1981)
Trichobius major A Alachuag "
Bugs
Cimex adjunctus A Alachua, Lee Bain (1981), FSCA
a L = larvae, A = adults, + = stage not given.
b Wilson and Baker (1972) in their publication on the ticks of Georgia mentioned a record of larvae of 0. yumatensis in a
colony of eastern pipistrelles in a cave in Grady County, southern Georgia. Free-flying bats of the same species were examined
from a locality in Leon County, Florida, less than 30 miles south of the cave in Georgia, but all were free of ticks.
SFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.
d Rice (1957) did not give specific localities in Florida, but did state that both species of mites were "abundant on the wing
membranes of virtually every bat examined" (p. 30). Baker and Strandtmann (1959) examined adult mites submitted to them
by Rice and reported that they were from Alachua County.
eFound in Alachua County (Fox 1940) and Columbia County (Layne 1971; FSCA). Rice (1957) also reported this flea from
southeastern brown bats in Florida, but did not give a specific locality.
f Found in Alachua County (Fuller 1943), Collier County (Schwartz 1952), Columbia County (Layne 1971; FSCA), Hamilton
County (FSCA), and Leon County (Fox 1940).
g Rice (1957) reported that these two species of Diptera were found commonly in the fur of southeastern brown bats in
Florida, but gave no specific data on localities. Foster (1979) also reported these two species from southeastern brown bats,
but gave no prevalence data or localities for the bats other than "north-central Florida."


a rare event. The authors stated that they had One of the mites (Chiroptonyssus ro-
examined "thousands of these bats in north- bustipes) is known to infest humans also and
central Florida in the past five years and cause dermatitis (Constantine 1970). Other
found ticks on only one individual." There species of mites serve as vectors of trypano-
are a number of records of other species of somes and hemosporidians (Constantine
Ornithodoros infesting humans (Constantine 1970), but information on this topic is lack-
1970), but it is unknown if 0. yumatensis is ing for Florida.
of zoonotic concern. The flea, Sternopsylla distincta, is a typical






Bats 31

parasite of free-tailed bats and in Florida oc- 2. G.M. Baer (ed.). Academic Press, New
curs on the Brazilian free-tailed bat. It has York. pp. 79-97.
been found on the southeastern brown bat Baer, G.M., and D.B. Adams. 1970. Rabies in
only when free-tailed bats also are present in insectivorous bats in the United States,
the same cave or refugia (Layne 1971). 1953-65. Pub. Health Rep. 85:637-645.
\Bain, J.R. 1981. Roosting ecology of three
Two species of bat flies (Diptera) are found Bain, J.R. 1981. Roosting ecology of three
Florida bats: Nycticeius humeralis, Myotis
commonly on southeastern brown bats in austroriparius, and Tadarida brasiliensis.
Florida. These are very host-specific and oc- M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville.
cur only on bats (Ubelaker 1970). One of 131 pp.
these (Trichobius major) is known to bite Bain, J.R., and T.L. Zinn. 1982. Ornithodoros
humans (Constantine 1970). Their effects on yumatensis from the southeastern brown bat
bat populations are unknown. (Myotis austroriparius) in Florida. J. Parasi-
Cimex adjunctus is a close relative of the tol. 68:510-511.
bedbug of man and may be an occasional Baker, E.W., and R.W. Strandtmann. 1959.
parasite of humans (Constantine 1970). Little Further notes on Ichoronyssus quadridenta-
is known about its biology (Ubelaker 1970) tus Strandtmann and Hunt, with a descrip-
and its effects on bat populations are un- tion of the female (Acarina, Dermanyassidae,
known. Macronyssinae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash.
61:225-228.
Beran, G.W. 1981. Rabies and infections by
rabies-related viruses. In: CRC handbook se-
IX. Summary and conclusions ries in zoonoses. J.H. Steele (ed.). CRC Press,
Boca Raton, Fla. pp. 57-135.
Twenty-five different parasites, disease Bigler, W.J. 1988. Unpublished data. HRS, Tal-
Twenty-five different parasites, disease lahe, F
,lahassee, Fla.
agents, and environmental contaminants lhseFa
agents, and environmental contaminants Bigler, W.J., G.L. Hoff, and E.E. Buff. 1975.
have been identified in bats from Florida. Chiropteran rabies in Florida: A twenty-year
These include 5 organochlorines, 4 metals, analysis, 1954 to 1973. Am. J. Trop. Med.
1 virus, 1 fungus, 1 protozoan, 2 trematodes, Hyg. 24:347-352.
and 11 arthropods. Of these the most impor- Brown, L.N. 1987. A checklist of Florida's
tant diseases appear to be rabies and histo- mammals. Florida Game and Fresh Water
plasmosis. These two diseases could have ad- Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 8 pp.
verse effects on bat populations and are Burridge, M.J., L. Sawyer, and W.J. Bigler.
significant because of their zoonotic status. 1986. Rabies in Florida. Department of
With the exception of arthropods, the para- Health and RehabilitativeServices, Tallahas-
sites of bats in Florida have been neglected, see, Fla. 147 pp.
Attention should be given to the helminths Clark, D.R. 1978. Uptake of dietary PCB by
Attention should be given to the helminths
pregnant big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)
and protozoans in order to understand their pand their fetuses. Bull. Environ. Contam
and their fetuses. Bull. Environ. Contam.
role in the health and diseases of the bats of Toxicol. 19:707-714.
Florida. 1988. How sensitive are bats to insecti-
cides? Wildl. Soc. Bull. 16:399-403.
Clark, D.R., and T.G. Lamont. 1976. Or-
. Literature cited ganochlorine residues and reproduction
in the big brown bat. J. Wildl. Manage.
40:249-254.
Baer, G.M. 1975. Rabies in nonhematophagous Clark, D.R., R.K. LaVal, and M.D. Tuttle.
bats. In: The natural history of rabies. Vol. 1982. Estimating pesticide burdens of bats






32 Bats

from guano analyses. Bull. Environ. Contam. Feldhamer (eds). Johns Hopkins Univ. Press,
Toxicol. 29:214-220. Baltimore. pp. 52-70.
Clark, D.R., A.S. Wenner, and J.F. Moore. Humphrey, S.H., and L.N. Brown. 1986. Re-
1986. Metal residues in bat colonies, Jackson port of a new bat (Chiroptera: Artibeus ja-
County, Florida, 1981-1983. Fla. Field Nat. maicensis) in the United States is erroneous.
14:38-45. Fla. Sci. 49:262-263.
Constantine, D.G. 1962. Rabies transmission Johnson, J.E., G. Radimer, A.F. DiSalvo, L.
by nonbite route. Pub. Health Rep. 77:287- Ajello, and W. Bigler. 1970. Histoplasmosis
289. in Florida. I. Report of a case and epidemio-
- 1967. Activity patterns of the Mexican logic studies. Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 101:299-
free-tailed bat. Univ. of New Mexico Pub. 305.
Biol. 7. 79 pp. Kinsella, J.M. 1987. Unpublished data. Arch-
- 1970. Bats in relation to the health, bold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla.
welfare, and economy of man. In: Biology of Kunz, T.H., E.L.P. Anthony, and W.T. Rumage.
bats. W.A. Wimsath (ed). Academic Press, 1977. Mortality of little brown bats follow-
New York. pp. 319-449. ing multiple pesticide applications. J. Wildl.
- 1985. Disease exchange between bats Manage. 41:476-483.
and researchers: Problems and precautions. Layne, J.N. 1971. Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Flor-
Aust. Mammal. 8:325-329. ida. Fla. Entomol. 54:35-51.
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Ser- (ed.). 1978. Rare and endangered bi-
vices. 1983. Florida morbidity statistics, ota of Florida. Vol. 1. Mammals. Univ.
1983. HRS, Tallahassee, Fla. 116 pp. Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 52 pp.
DiSalvo, A.F., W.J. Bigler, L. Ajello, J.E. John- Loftin, H. 1961. An annotated check-list of
son, and J. Palmer. 1970. Bat and soil studies trematodes and cestodes and their vertebrate
for sources of histoplasmosis in Florida. Pub. hosts from northwest Florida. Quart. J. Fla.
Health Rep. 85:1063-1069. Acad. Sci. 23:302-314.
Ewing, H.E. 1938. North American mites of the Lottenberg, R., R.H. Waldman, L. Ajello, G.L.
subfamily Myobiinae, new subfamily Hoff, W. Bigler, and S.R. Zellner. 1979. Pul-
(Arachnida). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. monary histoplasmosis associated with ex-
40:180-197. ploration of a bat cave. Am. J. Epidem.
Foster, G.W. 1979. Polychromophilus from 110:156-161.
southeastern brown bats (Myotis austroripa- Luckens, M.M., and W.H. Davis. 1964. Bats:
rius) in north-central Florida. J. Parasitol. Sensitivity to DDT. Science 146:948.
65:465-466. 1965. Toxicity of dieldrin and endrin
Fox, I. 1940. Fleas of eastern United States. to bats. Nature 207:879-880.
Iowa State Coll. Press, Ames. 191 pp. McMurray, D.N., and D.L. Greer. 1979. Im-
Fuller, H.S. 1943. Studies on Siphonaptera of mune responses in bats following intranasal
eastern North America. Bull. Brooklyn Ento- infection with Histoplasma capsulatum. Am.
mol. Soc. 38:18-23. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 28:1036-1039.
Gillette, D.D., and J.D. Kimbrough. 1970. Chi- McMurray, D.N., M.E. Thomas, D.L. Greer,
ropteran mortality. In: About bats. B.H. and N.L. Tolentino. 1978. Humoral and cell-
Slaughter and D.W. Walton (eds.). Southern mediated immunity to Histoplasma capsula-
Methodist Univ. Press, Dallas. pp. 262-283. turn during experimental infection in neo-
Hoff, G.L., and W.J. Bigler. 1981. The role of tropical bats (Artibeus lituratus). Am. J.
bats in the propagation and spread of histo- Trop. Med. Hyg. 27:815-821.
plasmosis: A review. J. Wildl. Dis. 17:191- Nowak, R.M., and J.L. Paradiso. 1983. Walk-
196. er's mammals of the world. 4th ed. Johns
Humphrey, S.R. 1982. Bats. In: Wild mammals Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore. 1,362 pp.
of North America. J.A. Chapman and G.A. Radovsky, F.J. 1967. The Macronyssidae and






Bats 33

Laelapidae (Acarina: Mesostigmata) para- States. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 15:544-550.
sitic on bats. Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. Tesh, R.B., andJ.D. Schneidau. 1967. Naturally
46:1-288. occurring histoplasmosis among bat colonies
Rice, D.W. 1957. Life history and ecology of in the southeastern United States. Am. J. Epi-
Myotis austroriparius in Florida. J. Mam- dem. 86:545-551.
mal. 38:15-32. Tuttle, M.D., and S.J. Kern. 1981. Bats and
Rutkowska, M.A. 1980. The helminthofauna public health. Milwaukee Public Museum
of bats (Chiroptera) from Cuba. I. A review Contrib. in Biol. and Geol. 48:1-11.
of nematodes and acanthocephalans. Acta Ubelaker, J.E. 1970. Some observations on ecto-
Parasit. Pol. 26:153-186. and endoparasites of Chiroptera. In: About
Sacks, J.J. 1982. Unpublished data. HRS, Talla- bats. B.H. Slaughter and D.W. Walton'(eds.).
hassee, Fla. Southern Methodist Univ. Press, Dallas. pp.
Schwartz, A. 1952. The land mammals of south- 247-261.
ern Florida and the upper Florida Keys. Venters, H.D., W.R. Hoffert, J.E. Scatterday,
Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor. and A.V. Hardy. 1954. Rabies in bats in
Smith, J.S., P.A. Yager, W.J. Bigler, and E.C. Florida. Am. J. Public Health 44: 182-185.
Hartwig, Jr. 1990. Surveillance and epidemi- Wheeler, W.B., D.P. Jouvenaz, D.P. Wojcik,
ologic mapping of monoclonal antibody- W.A. Banks, C.H. Van Middelem, C.S. Lof-
defined rabies variants in Florida. J. Wildl. gren, S. Nesbitt, L. Williams, and R. Brown.
Dis. 26: 473-485. 1977. Mirex residues in nontarget organisms
Stevenson, H.M. 1976. Vertebrates of Florida. after application of 10-5 bait for fire ant
Identification and distribution. Univ. Presses control, Northeast Florida-1972-1974.
of Florida, Gainesville. 607 pp. Pest. Monit. J. 11:146-156.
Sulkin, S.E., and R. Allen. 1970. Bats: Carriers Wilson, N., and W.W. Baker. 1972. Ticks of
of human disease-producing agents. In: Georgia (Acarina: Metastigmata). Bull. Tall
About bats. B.H. Slaughter and D.W. Wal- Timbers Res. Sta. 10:1-29.
ton (eds.). Southern Methodist Univ. Press, Wood, D.A. 1990. Official lists of endangered
Dallas. pp. 284-302. and potentially endangered fauna and flora
Sulkin, S.E., and R. Allen. 1975. Experimental in Florida. Florida Game and Fresh Water
rabies virus infection in bats. In: The natural Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 19 pp.
history of rabies. Vol. 2. G.M. Baer (ed.). Zdzitowiecki, K., and M.A. Rutkowska. 1980a.
Academic Press, New York. pp. 99-114. The helminthofauna of bats (Chiroptera)
Tegeris, A.S., and D.T. Smith. 1958. Acute dis- from Cuba. II. A review of cestodes with
seminated pulmonary histoplasmosis treated description of four new species and a key
with cortisone and MRO-112. Ann. Int. to Hymenolepididae of American bats. Acta
Med. 48:1414-1420. Parasit. Pol. 26:187-200.
Tesh, R.B., and J.D. Schneidau. 1966. Experi- Zdzitowiecki, K., and M.A. Rutkowska. 1980b.
mental infection of North American insectiv- The helminthofauna of bats (Chiroptera)
orous bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) with His- from Cuba. III. A review of trematodes. Acta
toplasma capsulatum from bats in the United Parasit. Pol. 26:201-214.









CHAPTER FIVE




Armadillos










I. Introduction ..... .......................... 34
II. Traum a ................................................... ....... 35
III. Climatic effects ............................................ 35
IV. Environmental contaminants ...................... 35
V. Viruses .............. ...................................... 36
VI. Leprosy ................. .................................. ..... 36
VII. Other bacterial infections..... o .................. 36
VIII. Protozoan parasites .................................... 38
IX. Helminths ........................................ 39
X. Arthropods...... ....................... ................ 39
XI. Summary and conclusions.............................. 39
XII. Literature cited............. o ............... ............. 40


I. Introduction

At the beginning of this century the common Big Cypress swamp (Galbreath 1982; Brown
long-nosed or nine-banded armadillo (Dasy- 1987). Humphrey (1974, p. 460) pointed out
pus novemcinctus L.) was found in the United that the "92-year history of armadillo move-
States only in the semiarid regions of Texas ment is one of a few well-documented cases
south of latitude 33ON (Galbreath 1982). of range expansion among mammals." He
Since then armadillos have moved to the further indicated that drought and cold are
north and east and into the Florida panhandle important factors that affect the distribution
(Wolfe 1968; Humphrey 1974). Between of armadillos.
1920 and 1936 there were three introduc- The common long-nosed armadillo has
tions of armadillos into the Atlantic coast been the subject of considerable interest in
region of Florida (Talmage and Buchanan recent years due to a number of unique fea-
1954). Since 1972 the western population tures. It has a relatively low body tempera-
and the introduced peninsular populations ture (32-34oC), a long delay in implantation
have expanded until they merged. Armadillos of its blastocyst, and always gives birth to
are now abundant throughout Florida except four young of the same sex and of identical
for the Keys and parts of the Everglades and genetic makeup (Szabuniewicz and McCrady






Armadillos 35

1969). In addition, it has been useful as a limits of its distribution under present cli-
laboratory model for the study of leprosy and matic conditions (Galbreath 1982). Hum-
other human diseases (Storrs 1971; Kirch- phrey (1974) determined that the distribu-
heimer and Storrs 1971; Storrs et al. 1974). tion of armadillos in the southern United
Various aspects of embryology, morphology, States was linked with annual rainfall and
physiology, blood chemistry, and nutrition the number of freeze-days per year. His data
have been reviewed by several authors (Tal- indicated that the lower limit for annual rain-
mage and Buchanan 1954; Szabuniewicz and fall was 380 mm and an upper limit for freeze-
McCrady 1969; Storrs 1971; Ramsey et al. days was nine per year. Populations of arma-
1981; Herbst et al. 1989). dillos in Texas (Kalmbach 1943) and Loui-
The literature on parasites and diseases of siana (Fitch et al. 1952) have been reduced
armadillos has been discussed by a number significantly by cold spells. In January and
of authors (Chandler 1954; Storrs 1971; February 1948, a local population of arma-
Lowery 1974; Galbreath 1982). All have re- dillos in western Louisiana was reduced by
marked that armadillos are remarkably free almost 80% due to severe cold weather (Fitch
of parasites, especially when compared to et al. 1952). Such declines have not been re-
other mammals such as opossums, raccoons, corded in Florida, but Layne and Glover
and skunks, with which they live sympatri- (1985) observed emaciated and weakened an-
cally. imals after prolonged cold spells in southern
Florida. There are also records in the litera-
II. Trauma ture of local populations declining due to
drought (Kalmbach 1943; Taber 1945; Clark
1951).
Armadillos are among the most common ani-
mals killed by vehicles in the state of Florida
(Galbreath 1982). Humphrey (1974) con- El
S IV. Environmental contaminants
ducted a questionnaire-type survey of eight
southeastern states (including Florida) and T r i i i.
The armadillo should be a useful animal in
found that the numbers of armadillos killed .
found that the numbers of armadillos killed which to monitor pesticide residues since it is
by vehicles were particularly high. He pointed which to o itor estiie rfesidues ine it
at the top of the soil food chain in many
out that the armadillo's habit of jumping up- ae of the Sou s c s as con
areas of the South where such crops as cotton,
wards when startled probably contributes to
sugarcane, rice, soybeans, and yams are pro-
the high mortality caused by vehicles, which s r s a y
duced in large quantities (Wheeler et al.
otherwise would pass over these animals .
therise w ld pass er these animals 1975). This mammal is mostly a generalist
without harming them. A similar statement that preys on invertebrates that live in soil,
s e by L ( that preys on invertebrates that live in soil,
was made by Lowery (1974) concerning ar- litter, and rotten wood (Galbreath 1982).
litter, and rotten wood (Galbreath 1982).
madillos in Louisiana. Second to road-kills by eet are the nle ot ortant oo
Beetles are the single most important food
vehicles is predation by dogs as a mortalityndings were reported in another study in
iFltem; in a study conducted in Florida they
factor (Humphrey 1974; Lowery 1974; Gal-
accounted for 78.5% of the diet by volume
(Nesbitt et al. 1977). Hymenoptera, Diptera,
and Orthoptera were also important. Similar
III. Climatic effects findings were reported in another study in
Florida conducted in 1959-1962 (Wirtz et al.
In Florida, the armadillo, like the manatee 1985).
(see Chapter 19), is at or near the northern With the exception of a small amount of






36 Armadillos

information from a single study (Wheeler et cal areas of Asia, central Africa, and South
al. 1977), there are no data on pesticides in and Central America. It is endemic also in
armadillos in Florida. In that study one ar- southern California, southeastern Texas,
madillo was tested before and seven were Louisiana, and Florida (especially Key West,
tested after the aerial application of mirex Miami, and Tampa) (Brubaker 1976).
for the control of fire ants. The study was In 1971 it was shown that leprosy devel-
conducted on the Dee Dot Ranch in Duval oped in a common long-nosed armadillo 17
and St. Johns counties in 1972-1974. Values months after M. leprae bacilli were inocu-
for the residues ranged from undetectable to lated from an infected human (Kirchheimer
1.68 ppm. The highest value was in adipose and Storrs 1971; Storrs 1971). Subsequently
tissue of an armadillo obtained six months it has been demonstrated that the armadillo
after the application of mirex. These values is an excellent experimental model for study-
are low compared to those obtained from ing leprosy (Storrs et al. 1974).
armadillos in Louisiana and Texas, where Leprosy in wild armadillos was first re-
residues varied from undetectable to 25 ppm ported in 1975 in Louisiana (Walsh et al.
in adipose tissue (Wheeler et al. 1975). The 1975). Since that time there have been addi-
significance of these findings to armadillo tional reports of leprosy in armadillos in
populations is not known. Texas, Mississippi, and Mexico, with preva-
lences varying from 0.5% to 10%. No infec-
V. Viruses tions have been found in more than 2,500
armadillos examined from 15 counties in
,. Florida (Table 5-1).
Rabies has never been diagnosed in armadil- Florida (Table 5-1).
The mode of transmission of leprosy in
los in Florida. Between 1975 and 1983 eight hma ad armado is nnon orrs
humans and armadillos is unknown (Storrs
armadillos were tested for rabies virus (Bur- and d ili a. ( -
. and Burchfield 1985). Filice et al. (1977) de-
ridge et al. 1986). All were negative.
ridge et al. 1986). All were negative termined that there was no association be-
Bigler et al. (1975) tested sera of 11 arma-
tween armadillo contact and leprosy in 18
dillos for antibodies to SLE, Everglades, and
Sinfected humans in Louisiana. In the area
EEE viruses, and six for Highlands J virus. ed i r 2
studied leprosy had been endemic for 200
One was positive for SLE and two for Ever-
years, whereas armadillos have been in Loui-
glades virus. Localities for positive animals years, whereas armadillos have been in Loui-
siana only for the past 50 years (Filice et al.
were not given. The importance of these ob-y r y
St a p 1977). Further studies on the epidemiology
servations to armadillo populations is un- a
known. of leprosy in humans and armadillos are
needed before the full significance of this dis-
ease can be appreciated. At the present time
VI. Leprosy it does not appear to be a problem in popula-
tions of armadillos in Florida.
Leprosy or Hansen's disease in humans is
caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium le-
prae and characteristically occurs as a chronic VII. Other bacterial infections
disease of the skin, nerves, and certain mu-
cous membranes (Brubaker 1976). Over 10 Five types of bacterial infections have been
million people in the world have leprosy, reported from armadillos in Florida (Table 5-
which is widespread in tropical and subtropi- 2). These included 10 serovars of Leptospira







Armadillos 37

Table 5-1
Prevalence of leprosy in common long-nosed armadillos from several areas of
the United States and Mexico

No. armadillos
Area Exam. Pos. (%) Data source
Louisiana 70 7 (10.0) Walsh et al. (1975)
691 47 (6.8) "
Texas 451 21 (4.7) Smith et al. (1983)
Mexico 96 1 (1.0) Amezcua et al. (1984)
Mississippi 179 1 (0.5) Storrs & Burchfield (1985)
Florida
Bay Co. 26 0 (0) Howerth et al. (1990)
Brevard Co. 209 0 ( 0) Storrs (1989)
Calhoun Co. 12 0 ( 0) Howerth et al. (1990)
Escambia Co. 13 0 ( 0) ." "
Gadsden Co. 1 0 ( 0) ." "
Glades Co. 2,087 0 (0) Storrs (1989)
Gulf Co. 23 0 ( 0) Howerth et al. (1990)
Jackson Co. 3 0 (0)
Okaloosa Co. 2 0 (0) "
Orange Co. 4 0 (0) Storrs (1989)
Osceola Co. 121 0 (0)
Santa Rosa Co. 2 0 (0 ) Howerth et al. (1990)
Taylor Co. 1 0 ( 0) i" "
Walton Co. 1 0 (0) ." "
Washington Co. 9 0 (0) ""


interrogans, the most common of which was County. The hemolytic activity of one of
shermani. Serovars autumnalis, canicola, and these isolates was studied and it was con-
pomona have been identified also in armadil- cluded that the production of a cell-associ-
los in Louisiana (Roth et al. 1964; Stuart et ated hemolysin might explain the association
al. 1977). The significance of this information of E. tarda with hemorrhagic enteritis in some
is not clear. Stuart et al. (1977) studied renal species (Watson and White 1979). Five sero-
lesions in a series of armadillos from Louisi- vars of Salmonella were isolated from arma-
ana, but found no association between inter- dillos from Glades County. BothE. tarda and
stitial nephritis and serologic or cultural evi- Salmonella were isolated from contents of the
dence of leptospires. large intestines. Since they were not associ-
One of 68 armadillos from Florida exam- ated with lesions, they probably represented
ined by Hoff et al. (1975) was seropositive the carrier state.
for agglutinins to Francisella tularensis, the Nocardia sp. was isolated from the lungs
etiologic agent of tularemia. The locality of of 2 of 18 armadillos from Glades County in
the positive animal was not given. The patho- 1971 (White 1987). One of these armadillos
logic significance of tularemia to armadillo was also positive for Salmonella muenster.
populations is not known. The significance of these infections by Nocar-
White (1987) isolated Edwardsiella tarda dia is not known, but in other animals, such
from two of five armadillos from Alachua as dogs and marine mammals, this fungus-







38 Armadillos

Table 5-2
Summary of findings on bacterial infections of armadillos in Florida

No. armadillos Location Basis of Data
Bacteria Exam. Inf. (%) Date (county) diagnosis source

Leptospira 18 2a (11) 1970-72 Glades Culture of White (1987)
interrogans kidneys
5 0 (0) 1970-72 Alachua Culture of
kidneys
286 32b (11) 1980-83 Glades Serology Motie et al (1986)
Francisella 68 1 (1.5) 1965-73 NGC Serology Hoff et al. (1975)
tularensis
Edwardsiella 18 0 (0) 1970-72 Glades Culture of White (1987)
tarda L.I. contents
5 2 (40) 1970-72 Alachua Culture of
L.I. contents
Salmonella spp. 18 5d (28) 1970-72 Glades Culture of
L.I. contents
5 0 (0) 1970-72 Alachua Culture of
L.I. contents
Nocardia sp. 18 2 (11) 1970-72 Glades Culture of
lungs
5 0 (0) 1970-72 Alachua Culture of
lungs
a Serovar autumnalis.
b Serovars shermani, canicola, tarasovi, pomona, javanica, australis, grippotyphosa, bataviae, and celledoni.
SNG = not given by authors.
d Serovars oranienburg, hartford, barta, havana, and muenster.


like bacterium is known to cause respiratory VIII. Protozoan parasites
disease (Pier 1979). One of the common
sources of infection by Nocardia is through Two protozoan parasites are known from ar-
contaminated soil. These armadillos proba- madillos in Florida: Toxoplasma gondii and
bly became infected via that method due to Trypanosoma cruzi. Both represent potential
their burrowing habits. disease hazards for man.
All of the bacteria discussed above are of In a serologic survey, 12 of 63 (19%) ar-
zoonotic concern, and the armadillo may madillos in Florida were positive for antibod-
serve as a reservoir host. Its role as such needs ies to Toxoplasma gondii (Burridge et al.
to be studied more carefully, however. 1979). This was the highest prevalence of
Skin infections by staphylococci and Pro- infection in 25 species of mammals examined.
teus spp. are found as a common sequel to There were no significant differences in the
any form of trauma in captive armadillos prevalence of infection in male versus female
(Wampler 1969; Baskerville and Francis armadillos or in adult versus younger ani-
1981). Such problems are often the cause of mals. Infections were found throughout pen-
death. There are no reports of this situation insular Florida. Armadillos become infected
in free-ranging animals, although it probably by ingestion of oocysts in feces of bobcats
occurs, or domestic cats. The reader is referred to






Armadillos 39

Chapter 15 on Florida panthers and bobcats mented on this and attributed the lack of
for more information on toxoplasmosis. Ar- parasitic arthropods to the armadillo's dor-
madillos that are consumed should be cooked sal covering or carapace and sparse hair on
thoroughly to prevent infection of humans. its underbelly. They do list, however, four
Irons (1971) examined 59 armadillos from ticks, five fleas, one bot, and one pentastome
seven counties in Florida (Alachua, Broward, from armadillos.
Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Levy, and Baskerville and Francis (1981) reported
Orange) for serologic evidence of infection mange problems in 8 of 20 adult armadillos
by Trypanosoma cruzi. One armadillo from from Florida (exact locality not given) that
Alachua County was seropositive. Armadil- had been shipped to England within a few
los are important reservoir hosts of T. cruzi days after their capture. They described the
in South America (Levine 1973), and Yeager lesions as dry, crumbling encrustations on
(1982) found 25% of 60 armadillos from the the ventral surfaces of the neck, thorax, and
New Orleans area infected. The effects on abdomen. Mites (Echimyopus dasypus) were
armadillos in Florida have not been studied. located in the epidermis (Figure 5-1) and in
As pointed out in other chapters, T. cruzi the deepest layers of keratin, but were absent
causes Chagas' disease in humans and is a from sweat glands and hair follicles. Moder-
significant problem in Central and South ate numbers of another species of mite (Orni-
America. thonyssus sp.) were also present on the cara-
pace and ventral surface, but were not
associated with the skin lesions. These captive
IX. Helminths animals were treated with a monosulfiram
solution and recovery was complete. The sig-
According to Chandler (1954) and Storrs nificance of this mange problem to free-rang-
(1971), the common long-nosed armadillo ing armadillos is unknown. The authors were
does not have much of a helminth fauna. certain that the mites were acquired in the
The following numbers of species have been wild since the armadillos had been captured
found: 3 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 20 nema- in Florida only a few days prior to examina-
todes (several of which are most certainly tion. Herbst (1990) examined 130 armadillos
spurious infections), and 3 acanthocepha- from San Felasco Hammock (Alachua Co.)
lans. Herbst and Greiner (1990) found pin- over a four-year period (1986-1990) and ob-
worms (Aspidodera sp.) in the large intestines served a mange-like condition on the ventral
of eight of nine armadillos from San Felasco surfaces of two animals. This may have been
Hammock (Alachua Co.) in 1988-1990. We caused by the same mite as described by Bas-
have no other information on helminths of kerville and Francis (1981), although mites
armadillos in Florida. were not seen in the latter two cases when
skin scrapings were performed (Herbst
1990).
X. Arthropods

Compared to other animals such as raccoons, XI. Summary and conclusions
opossums, and skunks, the armadillo is in-
fested with very few ectoparasites. Both Twenty-seven parasites, disease agents, and
Chandler (1954) and Storrs (1971) corn- environmental contaminants have been iden-






40 Armadillos























FIGURE 5-1. Section of armadillo skin showing hyperkeratosis and mites (Echimyopus dasypus) in
lacunae in the epidermis. Line = 0.2 mm. (From Baskerville and Francis 1981.)

tified from armadillos in Florida. These in- Florida: Wild vertebrate studies 1965-1974.
clude 1 chlorinated hydrocarbon, 2 arbovi- J. Wildl. Dis. 11:348-356.
ruses, 19 bacteria, 2 protozoans, 1 nematode, Brown, L.N. 1987. A checklist of Florida's
and 2 mites. With the possible exception of mammals. Florida Game and Fresh Water
the chlorinated hydrocarbon, the nematode, Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 8 pp.
Brubaker, M.L. 1976. Leprosy. In: Tropical
and the mites, all these agents are of public Brubaker, M.L. 1976. Leprosy. In: Tropical
medicine. 5th ed. G.W. Hunter, J.C. Swartz-
health concern. None, however, has been as- welder, and D.F. Clyde (eds.). W.B. Saun-
sociated with epizootics and they may not ders, Philadelphia. pp. 212-223.
be of importance to armadillo populations, i Burridge, M.J., L.A. Sawyer, and W.J. Bigler.
although this aspect has not been investigated 1986. Rabies in Florida. Department of
properly. / Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahas-
see, Fla. 147 pp.
Burridge, M.J., W.J. Bigler, D.J. Forrester, and
XII. Literature cited J.M. Hennemann. 1979. Serologic survey for
Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals in Flor-
Amezcua, M.E., A. Escubar-Gutierrez, E.E. / ida. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 175:964-967.
Storrs, A.M. Dhople, and H.P. Burchfield. I Chandler, A.C. 1954. Parasites of armadillos.
1984. Wild Mexican armadillo with leprosy- In: The armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus):
like infection. Int. J. Lepr. 52:254-255. A review of its natural history, ecology, anat-
Baskerville, A., and L. Francis. 1981. Mange in omy and reproductive physiology. Rice Inst.
newly-imported armadillos (Dasypus no- Pam. 41:43-66.
vemcinctus). Lab. Anim. 15:305-307. Clark, W.K. 1951. Ecological life history of the
Bigler, W.J., E. Lassing, E. Buff, A.L. Lewis, and armadillo in the eastern Edwards Plateau Re-
G.L. Hoff. 1975. Arbovirus surveillance in gion. Am. Midi. Nat. 46:337-358.






Armadillos 41

Filice, G.A., R.N. Greenberg, and D.W. Fraser. Dasypus novemcinctus in south-central Flor-
1977. Lack of observed association between ida. In: The evolution and ecology of arma-
armadillo contact and leprosy in humans. dillos, sloths, and vermilinguas. G.G. Mont-
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 26:137-139. gomery (ed.). Smithsonian Inst. Press,
Fitch, H.S., P. Goodrum, and C. Newman. Washington, D.C. pp. 407-417.
1952. The armadillo in the southeastern Levine, N.P. 1973. Protozoan parasites of do-
United States. J. Mammal. 33:21-37. mestic animals and of man. Burgess Pub. Co.,
Galbreath, G.J. 1982. Armadillo. In: Wild Minneapolis. 406 pp.
mammals of North America. J.A. Chapman Lowery, G.W., Jr. 1974. The mammals of Loui-
and G.A. Feldhamer (eds.). Johns Hopkins siana and its adjacent waters. Louisiana State
Univ. Press, Baltimore. pp. 71-79. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge. 565 pp.
Herbst, L.H. 1990. Unpublished data. Univ. of Motie, A., D.M. Myers, and E.E. Storrs. 1986.
Florida, Gainesville. A serologic survey for leptospires in nine-
Herbst, L.H., and E.C. Greiner. 1990 Unpub- banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus
lished data. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville. L.) in Florida. J. Wildl. Dis. 22:423-424.
Herbst, L.H., A.I. Webb, R.M. Clemmons, Nesbitt, S.A., W.M. Hetrick, L.E. Williams, Jr.,
M.R. Dorsey-Lee, and E.E. Storrs. 1989. and D.H. Austin. 1977. Foods of the nine-
Plasma and erythrocyte cholinesterase values banded armadillo in Florida. Proc. Ann.
for the common long-nosed armadillo, Dasy- Conf. S.E. Assoc. Game Fish Comm. 31:56-
pus novemcinctus. J. Wildl. Dis. 25:364- 61.
369. Pier, A.C. 1979. Actinomycetes. In: CRC hand-
Hoff, G.L., W.J. Bigler, and E.C. Prather. 1975. book series in zoonoses. Section A: Bacterial,
One-half century of tularemia in Florida. J. rickettsial, and mycotic diseases. Vol. 1. J.H.
Fla. Med. Assoc. 62:35-37. Steele (ed.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla. pp.
Howerth, E.W., D.E. Stallknecht, W.R. David- 17-30.
son, and E.J. Wentworth. 1990. Survey for Ramsey, P.R., D.F. Tyler, Jr., J.R. Waddill, and
leprosy in nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus E.E. Storrs. 1981. Blood chemistry and nutri-
novemcinctus) from the southeastern United tional balance of wild and captive armadillos
States. J. Wildl. Dis. 26:112-115. (Dasypus novemcinctus L.). Comp. Bio-
Humphrey, S.R. 1974. Zoogeography of the chem. Physiol. 69A:517-521.
nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novem- Roth, E.E., B. Greer, M. Moore, K. Newman,
cinctus) in the United States. Bioscience G.E. Sanford, and W.V. Adams. 1964. Sero-
24:457-462. logical analysis of two new related leptospi-
Irons, E.M. 1971. A survey of the state of Flor- ral serotypes isolated in Louisiana. Zoon.
ida for the incidence of American trypanoso- Res. 3:31-38.
miasis in insect vectors and reservoir ani- Smith, J.H., D.S. Folse, E.G. Long, J.D. Christie,
mals. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, D.T. Crouse, M.E. Tewes, A.M. Gatson,
Gainesville. 71 pp. R.L. Ehrhardt, S.K. File, and M.T. Kelley.
Kalmbach, E.R. 1943. The armadillo: Its rela- 1983. Leprosy in wild armadillos (Dasypus
tion to agriculture and game. Game, Fish, & novemcinctus) of the Texas Gulf Coast: Epi-
Oyster Comm., Austin, Tex. 61 pp. demiology and mycobacteriology. J. Reticu-
Kirchheimer, W.F., and E.E. Storrs. 1971. At- loendoth. Soc. 34:75-88.
tempts to establish the armadillo (Dasypus Storrs, E.E. 1971. The nine-banded armadillo:
novemcinctus Linn.) as a model for the study A model for leprosy and other biomedical
of leprosy. I. Report of lepromatoid leprosy research. Int. J. Lepr. 39:703-714.
in an experimentally infected armadillo. Int. 1989. Unpublished data. Florida Insti-
SJ. Lepr. 39:693-702. tute of Technology, Melbourne.
Layne, J.N., and D. Glover. 1985. Activity pat- Storrs, E.E., and H.P. Burchfield. 1985. Leprosy
terns of the common long-nosed armadillo in wild common long-nosed armadillos Da-






42 Armadillos

sypus novemcinctus. In: Evolution and ecol- Wampler, S.N. 1969. Husbandry and health
ogy of armadillos, sloths, and vermilinguas. problems of armadillos, Dasypus novem-
G.G. Montgomery (ed.). Smithsonian Inst. cinctus. Lab. Anim. Care 19:391-393.
Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 265-268. Watson, J.J., and F.H. White. 1979. Hemolysins
Storrs, E.E., G.P. Walsh, H.P. Burchfield, and of Edwardsiella tarda. Can. J. Comp. Med.
C.H. Binford. 1974. Leprosy in the arma- 43:78-83.
dillo: New model for biomedical research. Wheeler, R.J., D.F. Friday, H.P. Burchfield, and
Science 183:851-852. E.E. Storrs. 1975. Use of the nine-banded
Stuart, B.P., W.A. Crowell, W.V. Adams, and armadillo for sampling soil insects for pesti-
J.C. Cartisle. 1977. Spontaneous renal dis- cide residue analysis. Environ. Qual. Safety
ease in Louisiana armadillos (Dasypus no- 3 (Suppl.):129-134.
/ vemcinctus). J. Wildl. Dis. 13:240-244. Wheeler, W.B., D.P. Jouvenaz, D.P. Wojcik,
Szabuniewicz, M., and J.D. McCrady. 1969. W.A. Banks, C.H. VanMiddelen, C.S. Lof-
Some aspects of the anatomy and physiology gren, S. Nesbitt, L. Williams, and R. Brown.
of the armadillo. Lab. Anim. Care 19:843- 1977. Mirex residues in nontarget organisms
S848. after application of 10-5 bait for fire ant con-
Taber, F.W. 1945. Contribution on the life his- trol, Northeast Florida-1972-74. Pest.
tory and ecology of the nine-banded arma- Monit. J. 11:146-156.
dillo. J. Mammal. 26:211-226. White, F.H. 1987. Unpublished data. Univ. of
ITalmage, R.V., and G.D. Buchanan. 1954. The Florida, Gainesville.
Sarmadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus): A re- Wirtz, W.O., D.H. Austin, and G.W. Deble.
view of its natural history, ecology, anatomy 1985. Food habits of the common long-
and reproductive physiology. Rice Inst. nosed armadillo Dasypus nomvemcinctus in
Pam. 41:1-135. Florida, 1960-61. In: The evolution and
Walsh, G.P., E.E. Storrs, W. Meyers, and C.H. ecology of armadillos, sloths, and vermilin-
Binford. 1977. Naturally acquired leprosy- guas. G.G. Montgomery (ed.). Smithsonian
like disease in the nine-banded armadillo Inst. Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 439-451.
(Dasypus novemcinctus): Recent epizootio- Wolfe, J.L. 1968. Armadillo distribution in Ala-
logic findings. J. Reticuloendoth. Soc. 22: bama and northwest Florida. Quart. J. Fla.
363-367. Acad. Sci. 31:209-212.
Walsh, G.P., E.E. Storrs, H.P. Burchfield, E.H. Yeager, R.C. 1982. American trypanosomiasis.
Cottrell, M.F. Vidring, and C.H. Binford. In: CRC handbook series in zoonoses. Sec-
1975. Leprosy-like disease occurring natu- tion C: Parasitic zoonoses. Vol. 1. L. Jacobs
rally in armadillos. J. Reticuloendoth. Soc. and P. Arambulo (eds.). CRC Press, Boca
18:347-351. Raton, Fla. pp. 105-119.



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CHAPTER SIX




Rabbits











I. Introduction ................................................. 43
II. Environmental contaminants ......................... 43
III. Rabies ................................ ...... ............... 44
IV. Arboviruses ........................................ ............. 44
V. Tularemia........................................................... 45
VI. Leptospirosis ................................................. 46
VII. M ycotic diseases ............................................ 46
VIII. Parasites.................................... ............... 47
IX. Summary and conclusions............................... 49
X. Literature cited................................................ 49


I. Introduction

Three species of rabbits occur in Florida. Keys rabbit, S. p. hefneri, is considered endan-
These include the Eastern cottontail, Sylvila- gered according to the Florida Game and Fresh
gus floridanus (Allen), the marsh rabbit, Sylvi- Water Fish Commission (Wood 1990).
lagus palustris (Bachman), and the black- The diseases and parasites of marsh rabbits
tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus Gray and cottontails have been reviewed by Chap-
(Stevenson 1976). The jackrabbitis rare and is man et al. (1982). Asimilar review of the litera-
found only in Broward, Dade, and Hills- ture on cottontails was conducted by Andrews
borough counties, where it was introduced (1969). Dunn et al. (1982) reviewed the dis-
(Layne 1965, 1988). The other two species are eases and parasites of jackrabbits, although
abundant and distributed throughout Florida nothing is known about this host in Florida.
(Brown 1987). In 1986-1987 more than
41,000 rabbits were killed by hunters (Wright
1987). The Micco cottontail rabbit, S. f. am- II. Environmental contaminants
mophilus, is under review for survival status
(Wood 1990), but its status may be secure ac- Virtually nothing is known about pesticides
cording to Humphrey et al. (1987). The Lower and other contaminants in rabbit populations






44 Rabbits

in Florida. Wheeler et al. (1977) examined zootiology of rabies in carnivores, even
one marsh rabbit from the Dee Dot Ranch though they serve as important prey items
(Duval and St. Johns counties). No residues and inflict wounds on carnivores when they
of mirex were detected in brain, liver, and are captured (Winkler 1972; Prather et al.
muscle samples from that animal. 1975). The Florida Division of Health's rec-
ommendation for gray squirrels (see Chapter
7) also holds for rabbits, that is, rabies immu-
III. Rabies nization is recommended only if a person is
bitten by a rabbit that has exhibited unusual
The records of the Florida Division of Health behavior or was obviously ill prior to the
(Prather et al. 1975; Burridge et al. 1986) biting episode (Prather et al. 1975).
show that rabies has been diagnosed in 14
rabbits since 1905. The species involved were
not given nor were domestic rabbits sepa- IV. Arboviruses
rated from wild rabbits, so the exact situation
is not known for these incidents. Between Three arboviruses (Tensaw, Sawgrass, and
1957 and 1983, 2,342 rabbits (species not Keystone) are known to infect rabbits in Flor-
given) were examined for rabies in Florida. ida (Table 6-1). Sawgrass and Keystone vi-
None was positive (Burridge et al. 1986). It ruses are not thought to be of public health
has been concluded that lagomorphs are not significance, although Keystone virus has
involved to any significant degree in the epi- been documented sporadically in children in

Table 6-1
Arboviruses reported from rabbits in Florida

Species of No. rabbits
Arbovirus rabbit Exam. Pos. Date Location Data source
Tensaw Marsh rabbits 144 2 1963-70 Hillsborough Wellings et al. (1972)a
3 2 1965-74 NG Bigler et al. (1975)
Sawgrass Marsh rabbits NG 2b 1964 Hillsborough Sather et al. (1970)
Keystone "Rabbits" 37 1' 1964-67 Hillsborough Jennings et al. (1968),
Taylor et al. (1971)
Everglades Marsh rabbits 6 0 1968 "South Fla." Bigler (1969)
12 0 1965-69 Collier Lord et al. (1973)
Eastern cottontails 1 0 1968 Nassau Bigler (1969)
12 0 1965-69 Collier Lord et al. (1973)
"Rabbits" 43 0 1965-74 Statewide Bigler et al. (1975)
SLEd "Rabbits" 46 0 1965-74 Statewide " "
EEEe "Rabbits" 46 0 1965-74 Statewide " "
Highlands J "Rabbits" 46 0 1965-74 Statewide "
Note: All data (except as noted otherwise) are from serologic studies.
"Calisher et al. (1986) report what appears to be thesame data. It is not clear if they were referring to Wellings et al. (1972),
but they report the isolation of Tensaw virus from the blood of 2 swamp rabbits (Sylvilagus aquaticus). Since swamp rabbits
do not occur in Florida, it is assumed that they were referring to Wellings' data on marsh rabbits.
bSawgrass virus was isolated from 2 ticks (Haemophysalis leporispalustris) taken from a marsh rabbit.
cKeystone virus was isolated from a cottontail that had been raised in captivity and then used as a sentinel for 1 week.
dSLE = St. Louis encephalitis.
'EEE = eastern equine encephalomyelitis.






Rabbits 45























FIGURE 6-1. Liver of a rabbit showing whitish foci (arrows) typical of tularemia.

Florida (Gates et al. 1968). Tensaw virus is western Georgia and northwestern Florida
of public health concern (Seymour and Yuill and found only one seropositive animal, an
1981). Their importance to rabbit popula- Eastern cottontail. Hoff et al. (1975a) re-
tions is not known. ported no positive sera from 4 cottontails
and 47 marsh rabbits examined in Florida
(localities not given). Francisella tularensis
V. Tularemia was isolated from skin scrapings of one of
two men who contracted tularemia from kill-
Tularemia is an acute infectious disease ing, cleaning, and eating a marsh rabbit in
caused by the bacterium Francisella tular- Palm Beach County in November 1974 (Hoff
ensis. It is primarily a disease of wild lago- et al. 1975b). Both men developed signs typi-
morphs and rodents and is also an important cal of tularemia (fever, chills, profuse perspi-
zoonotic disease (Bell and Reilly 1981). ration, and bilateral axillary adenopathy) and
Transmission is by ectoparasites such as significant antibody titers to F. tularensis. In
mites, ticks, flies, fleas, and lice, by direct response to these cases of tularemia, 34 mam-
contact with infected animals, or by environ- mals were collected in the vicinity where the
mental contamination (Bell and Reilly 1981). marsh rabbit was obtained in Palm Beach
The disease is usually fatal for cottontails, County. These included two cottontails and
and hence animals that survive the infection five marsh rabbits, all of which were negative
and produce antibodies rarely are found. for the tularemia organisms via isolation
McKeever et al. (1958b) examined,188 East- techniques and serologic tests.
ern cottontails and 6 marsh rabbits in south- Tularemia, therefore, is present in Florida,






46 Rabbits

Table 6-2
Helminths recorded from Eastern cottontails in Florida

Location
Helminth Prevalence (county) Data source
Nematoda
Capillaria hepatica 0/12a Alachua, Brevard, Layne (1968)
Highlands, Lee
1/17 Polk, Highlands Layne (1970)
Trichostrongylus calcaratus NGb Highlands Kinsella (1988)
Trichostrongylus affinis NG Highlands "
Longistriata noviberae NG Highlands "
Obeliscoides cuniculi NG Highlands Kinsella (1988), Penner
(1988)
Dirofilaria uniformis NG Highlands Penner (1988)
Cestoda
Taenia pisiformis NG Highlands
aNo. infected per no. examined.
bNG = not given by author.

but its impact on rabbit populations is un- reader is referred to Yeatter and Thompson
known. Other mammals are known to be (1952), Jellison (1974), and Bell and Reilly
infected with F. tularensis in Florida (rac- (1981). The latter two references provide ex-
coons, opossums, armadillos, white-tailed cellent reviews of the disease in various spe-
deer, cotton rats, cotton mice, etc.) (Hoff et cies of wildlife, including rabbits.
al. 1975a) and may be as important as rabbits
in the transmission of tularemia to man. Since
247 cases of human tularemia were reported VI. Leptospirosis
between 1924 and 1973 (Hoff et al. 1975a),
hunters, wildlife biologists, and others who Shotts et al. (1975) isolated Leptospira in-
handle rabbits should be aware of tularemia terrogans serovar grippotyphosa from 1 of
and observe the necessary precautions. Rab- 25 cottontails examined in the Florida pan-
bits with tularemia may not always display handle and southwestern Georgia. In another
signs of the disease, but often they behave study in southern Georgia, 68 cottontails and
oddly, run slowly, and are captured easily. 1 marsh rabbit from areas near the northern
They do not raise their heads or carry their border of Florida were cultured for leptospi-
front feet well, and will rub their noses and ral organisms (McKeever et al. 1958c). All
forefeet into the ground. At necropsy typical were negative. The significance of these find-
gross lesions will include nodules or whitish ings is unknown, but it appears that rabbits
foci on the liver (Figure 6-1), spleen, lungs, or are not important as reservoirs of the agent
lymph nodes (Bell and Reilly 1981). Rabbits of leptospirosis.
with these conditions should not be further
processed (or eaten) and should be discarded
by burial or burning or, better still, submitted VII. Mycotic diseases
to a disease laboratory for definitive diag-
nosis. During 1954 to 1956 McKeever et al.
For further information on tularemia, the (1958d) examined 207 cottontails and 4







Rabbits 47

Table 6-3
Arthropod parasites reported from Eastern cottontails in Florida

Location
Arthropod (county) Data source

Fleas
Cediopsylla simplex Alachua Kohls (1940), Fuller (1943), Layne (1971)
Hoplopsyllus glacialis affinis Dade Kohls (1940)
Highlands, Polk, Putnam Layne (1971), FSCA'
Orange FSCA
Hoplopsyllus lynx Osceola
Echidnophaga gallinacea Alachua Kohls (1940), Fuller (1943)
Pulex simulans Alachua Fuller (1943), Layne (1971), FSCA
Ctenocephalides felis Alachua Layne (1971)
Ticksb
Haemaphysalis leporispalustris "Throughout Fla." Boardman (1929)
Orange, Osceola, Collier Travis (1941)
Indian River Worth (1950), Wilson & Kale (1972), FSCA
Alachua, Gilchrist, Hills- Taylor (1951)
borough, Marion
"Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Ixodes scapularis Alachua Taylor (1951)
Dermacentor variabilis "Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Dermacentor sp. Hillsborough Taylor (1951)
Amblyomma americanum Marion "
Amblyomma tuberculatum Highlands FSCA
"Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Mites
Eutrombicula sp. Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Bots
Cuterebra buccata "Throughout Fla." Sabrosky (1986)
Cuterebra cuniculi St. Lucie "
Polk FSCA
aFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture,
Gainesville, Fla.
bBoardman (1929) reported immature Amblyomma tuberculatum and adults of A. maculatum from "rabbits" in Florida, but did not
say which species of rabbits. Likewise, Rogers (1953) reported nymphs of Amblyomma americanum from "rabbits" in northern
Florida.

marsh rabbits in southwestern Georgia and VIII. Parasites
northwestern Florida. Only one of the cotton-
tails (and none of the marsh rabbits) was The parasites of Eastern cottontails have been
positive for fungi. A red variety of Mi- well studied in several parts of North
crosporum was cultured from the fur of this America, but not in Florida. Andrews (1969)
rabbit. There were no signs of fungal disease listed 110 species of parasites from the host,
and it was assumed by the authors that the including 20 protozoans, 5 flukes, 8 tape-
animal had become contaminated by the or- worms, 23 nematodes, 5 dipterans, 23 fleas,
ganism from soil. This fungus is probably 9 ticks, 16 mites, and 1 pentastome. Andrews
of limited consequence as a disease agent in et al. (1980) examined 260 Eastern cotton-
rabbit populations, tails from eight southeastern states (excluding







48 Rabbits

Table 6-4
Parasites recorded from marsh rabbits in Florida

Occurrence or
Parasite prevalence" County Data source

Protozoa
Toxoplasma gondii 1/37 NGb Burridge et al. (1979)
Nematoda
Capillaria hepatica 0/4 Alachua, Levy, Layne (1968)
Pinellas
Fleas
Cediopsylla simplex + Hillsborough Worth (1950)
+ Nassau, Putnam Layne (1971)
Hoplopsyllus glacialis affinis + Lee "
Ticks'
Haemaphysalis leporispalustris + Lee FSCAd
+ Hillsborough Sather et al. (1970)
+ Indian River Wilson & Kale (1972), Worth
(1950), FSCA
+ "Throughout Boardman (1929)
Fla."
+ "Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Dermacentor variabilis + Hillsborough Worth (1950), Taylor (1951), Sather
et al. (1970)
+ Levy FSCA
+ NG Bishopp & Trembley (1945)
Ixodes scapularis + Hillsborough Worth (1950), Taylor (1951)
Mites
Ornithonyssus bacoti + Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Chyletiella furmanie + Duval Smiley (1970)
Bots
Cuterebra cuniculi + "Throughout Fla." Sabrosky (1986)
Cuterebra sp. + Hillsborough Worth (1950)
"No. infected or infested per no. examined; + = parasite present, but no data available on prevalence.
bNG = not given by authors.
cBoardman (1929) reported immature Amblyomma tuberculatum and adults of A. maculatum from "rabbits" in Florida, but
did not state which species of rabbits. Likewise, Rogers (1953) reported nymphs of Amblyomma americanum from "rabbits"
in northern Florida.
dFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.
'This species was described from specimens collected from a marsh rabbit by C. B. Worth in Jacksonville, Florida, on February
4, 1950 (Smiley 1970).


Florida), and reported 2 protozoans, 1 fluke, Dunn et al. (1982) reported 22 from black-
3 tapeworms, 10 nematodes, and 1 penta- tailed jackrabbits.
stome species. Much less information is avail- Twenty-two species of parasites have been
able on marsh rabbits and black-tailed jack- reported from Eastern cottontails in Florida
rabbits, although Chapman et al. (1982) (Tables 6-2 and 6-3) and 10 species have been
reported 2 species from marsh rabbits, and reported from marsh rabbits (Table 6-4).






Rabbits 49

There are no reports of parasites from black- of significance to rabbit populations, al-
tailed jackrabbits, although Layne (1971) though this has not been studied in Florida.
postulated that the flea Hoplopsyllus glacialis The paucity of information on the para-
affinis (a western North American species pri- sites and diseases of rabbits in Florida is pre-
marily) was introduced into Florida on black- sumably not due to their absence, but rather
tailed jackrabbits that were brought here in to the fact that rabbits have not been well
the 1930s for use in training racing grey- studied in this area.
hounds. This flea is now well established in
Florida and, in addition to Eastern cottontails
and marsh rabbits, has been found on deer X. Literature cited
mice, cotton rats, gray squirrels, and rac-
coons (Layne 1971). The typical host for the
flea is the cottontail. The flea is most common Andrews, C.L. 1969. arasitism and other dis-
ease entities among selected populations of
in southern Florida, which may be related to cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus loridanus).
cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus).
the fact that the jackrabbit was introduced Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Georgia, Athens. 185
originally in the Miami area.
McKeever et al. (1958a) cultured 203 Andrews, C.L., W.R. Davidson, and E.E. Pro-
Eastern cottontails and 4 marsh rabbits from vost. 1980. Endoparasites of selected popu-
southwestern Georgia and northwestern lations of cottontail rabbits Sylvilagus flori-
Florida from 1954 to 1957. None was posi- danus in the southeastern United States. J.
tive for trypanosomes. Burridge et al. (1979) Wildl. Dis. 16:395-401.
found 1 of 37 marsh rabbits and none of 6 Bell, J.F., and J.R. Reilly. 1981. Tularemia. In:
Eastern cottontails seropositive for Tox- Infectious diseases of wild mammals. 2d ed.
oplasma gondii. J.W. Davis et al. (eds.). Iowa State Univ.
Nothing is known about the effects of Press, Ames. pp. 213-231.
Bigler, W.J. 1969. Venezuelan encephalitis anti-
these parasites on rabbits in Florida. The ticks Bigler, W.J. 1969. Venezuelan encephalitis anti-
body studies in certain Florida wildlife. Bull.
and fleas could be important as vectors of Wildl. Dis. Assoc. 5:267-270.
tularemia. Bigler, W.L., E. Lassing, E. Buff, A.L. Lewis,
and G.L. Hoff. 1975. Arbovirus surveillance
in Florida: Wild vertebrate studies 1965-
IX. Summary and conclusions 1974. J. Wildl. Dis. 11:348-356.
Bishopp, F.C., and H.L. Trembley. 1945. Distri-
Little is known about the parasites and dis- bution and hosts of certain North American
eases of rabbits in Florida. Twenty-two spe- ticks. J. Parasitol. 31:1-54.
cies of parasites (6 nematodes, 1 cestode, and Boardman, E.T. 1929. Ticks of the Gainesville
15 arthropods), 2 bacterial diseases, and 1 area. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, Gaines-
fungal disease are known from Eastern cot- ville. 57 pp.
Brown, L.N. 1987. A checklist of Florida's
tontails. Ten parasites (1 protozoan and 9 mammals. Florida Game and Fresh Water
mammals. Florida Game and Fresh Water
arthropods), 2 viruses, and 1 bacterial disease
Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 6 pp.
are known from marsh rabbits. Nothing is Burridge, M.J., L.A. Sawyer, and W.J. Bigler.
known about parasites and diseases of the 1986. Rabies in Florida. Department of
introduced black-tailed jackrabbit. Tensaw Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahas-
virus, tularemia, and toxoplasmosis are of see, Fla. 147 pp.
public health importance. Tularemia may be Burridge, M.J., W.J. Bigler, D.J. Forrester, and







50 Rabbits

J.M. Hennemann. 1979. Serologic survey for species infesting wild hares and rabbits of
Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals in Flor- North America north of Mexico. Nat. Inst.
ida. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 175:964-967. Health Bull. 175. 27 pp.
Calisher, C.H., D.B. Francy, G.C. Smith, D.J. Layne, J.N. 1965. Occurrence of black-tailed
Muth, J.S. Lazuick, N. Karabatsos, W.L. Ja- jack rabbits in Florida. J. Mammal. 46:502.
kob, and R.G. McLean. 1986. Distribution 1968. Host and ecological relation-
of Bunyamwera serogroup viruses in North ships of the parasitic helminth Capillaria he-
America, 1956-1984. Am. J. Trop. Med. patica in Florida mammals. Zoologica
Hyg. 35:429-443. 53:107-122.
Chapman, J.A., J.G. Hockman, and W.R. Ed- 1970. New host records of Capillaria
wards. 1982. Cottontails. In: Wild mammals hepatica in Florida. Quart. J. Fla. Acad. Sci.
of North America. J.A. Chapman and G.A. 33:18-22.
Feldhamer (eds.). Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1971. Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Florida.
Baltimore. pp. 83-123. Fla. Entomol. 54:35-51.
Dunn, J.P., J.A. Chapman, and R.E. Marsh. 1988. Unpublished data. Archbold Bi-
1982. Jackrabbits. In: Wild mammals of ological Station, Lake Placid, Fla.
North America. J.A. Chapman and G.A. Lord, R.D., C.H. Calisher, W.D. Sudia, and
Feldhamer (eds.). Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, T.H. Work. 1973. Ecological investigations
Baltimore. pp. 124-145. of vertebrate hosts of Venezuelan equine en-
Fuller, H.S. 1943. Studies on Siphonaptera of cephalomyelitis virus in south Florida. Am.
eastern North America. Bull. Brooklyn Ento- J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 22:116-123.
mol. Soc. 38:18-23. McKeever, S., G.W. Gorman, and L. Norman.
Gates, E.H., J.O. Bond, and A.L. Lewis. 1968. 1958a. Occurrence of a Trypanosoma cruzi-
California group arbovirus encephalitis in like organism in some mammals from south-
Florida children. J. Fla. Med. Assoc. 55:37- western Georgia and northwestern Florida.
40. J. Parasitol. 44:583-587.
Hoff, G.L., W.J. Bigler, and E.C. Prather. McKeever, S., J.H. Schubert, M.S. Moody,
1975a. One-half century of tularemia in G.W. Gorman, and J.F. Chapman. 1958b.
Florida. J. Fla. Med. Assoc. 62:35-37. Natural occurrence of tularemia in marsupi-
Hoff, G.L., W.J. Bigler, W. Hemmert, and D. als, carnivores, lagomorphs, and large ro-
Lawrence. 1975b. Tularemia in Florida: Syl- dents in southwestern Georgia and north-
vilagus palustris as a source of human infec- eastern Florida. J. Infect. Dis. 103:120-126.
tion. J. Wildl. Dis. 11:560-561. McKeever, S., G.W. Gorman, J.F. Chapman,
Humphrey, S.R., W.H. Kern, Jr., and M.S. Lud- M.M. Galton, and D.K. Powers. 1958c. Inci-
low. 1987. Status survey of seven Florida dence of leptospirosis in wild mammals from
mammals. Fla. Coop. Fish & Wildl. Res. southwestern Georgia, with a report of new
Unit Tech. Rep. No. 25. 39 pp. hosts for six serotypes of leptospires. Am. J.
Jellison, W.L. 1974. Tularemia in North Trop. Med. Hyg. 7:646-655.
America, 1930-1974. Univ. of Montana McKeever, S., W. Kaplan, and L. Ajello. 1958d.
Foundation, Missoula. 276 pp. Ringworm fungi of large wild mammals in
Jennings, W.L., A.L. Lewis, G.E. Sather, W.M. southwestern Georgia and northwestern
Hammon, and J.O. Bond. 1968. California- Florida. Am. J. Vet. Res. 19:973-975.
encephalitis-group viruses in Florida rabbits: Penner, L.R. 1988. Unpublished data. Archbold
Report of experimental and sentinel studies. Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla.
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 17:781-787. Prather, C.E., W.J. Bigler, G.L. Hoff, and J.A.
Kinsella, J.M. 1988. Unpublished data. Arch- Tomas. 1975. Rabies in Florida. History, sta-
bold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Fla. tus, trends. Fla. Div. of Health Monogr. Se-
Kohls, G.M. 1940. Siphonaptera. A study of the ries, no. 14. Jacksonville. 122 pp.






Rabbits 51

Rogers, A.J. 1953. A study of the ixodid ticks Travis, B.V. 1941. Examinations of wild ani-
of northern Florida, including the biology mals for the cattle tick Boophilus annulatus
and life history of Ixodes scapularis Say (Ixo- microplus (Can.) in Florida. J. Parasitol.
didae: Acarina). Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Mary- 27:465-467.
land, College Park. 191 pp. Wellings, F.M., A.L. Lewis, and L.V. Pierce.
Sabrosky, C.W. 1986. North American species 1972. Agents encountered during arboviral
of Cuterebra, the rabbit and rodent bot flies ecological studies: Tampa Bay Area, Florida,
(Diptera: Cuterebridae). Entomol. Soc. Am., 1963 to 1970. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.
College Park, Md. 240 pp. 21:201-213.
Sather, G.E., A.L. Lewis, W. Jennings, J.O. Wheeler, W.B., D.P. Jouvenaz, D.P. Wojcik,
Bond, and W.M. Hammon. 1970. Saw- W.A. Banks, C.H. VanMiddelen, C.S. Lof-
grass virus: A newly described arbovirus gren, S. Nesbitt, L. Williams, and R. Brown.
in Florida. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 19:319- 1977. Mirex residues in nontarget organisms
326. after application of 10-5 bait for fire ant con-
Seymour, C., and T.M. Yuill. 1981. Arbovi- trol, northeast Florida-1972-1974. Pest.
ruses. In: Infectious diseases of wild mam- Monit. J. 11:146-156.
mals. 2d ed. J.W. Davis et al. (eds.). Iowa Wilson, N., and H.W. Kale, II. 1972. Ticks
State Univ. Press, Ames. pp. 54-86. collected from Indian River County, Florida
Shotts, E.B., C.L. Andrews, and T.W. Harvey. (Acari: Metastigmata: Ixodidae). Fla. Ento-
1975. Leptospirosis in selected wild mam- mol. 55:53-57.
mals of the Florida panhandle and south- Winkler, W.G. 1972. Rodent rabies in United
western Georgia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. States. J. Infect. Dis. 126:565-567.
167:387-389. Wood, D.A. 1990. Official lists of endangered
Smiley, R.L. 1970. A review of the family fauna and flora in Florida. Florida Game and
Cheyletiellidae (Acarina). Ann. Entomol. Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee.
Soc. Am. 63:1056-1078. 19pp.
Stevenson, H.M. 1976. Vertebrates of Florida. Worth, C.B. 1950. A preliminary host-parasite
Identification and distribution. Univ. Presses register for some small mammals of Florida.
of Florida, Gainesville. 607 pp. J. Parasitol. 36:497-498.
Taylor, D.J. 1951. The distribution of ticks in Wright, T.J. 1987. Wildlife harvest and eco-
Florida. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, nomic survey. Florida Game and Fresh Wa-
Gainesville. 121 pp. ter Fish Commission, Tallahassee. P-R Re-
Taylor, D.J., A.L. Lewis, J.D. Edman, and W.L. port, W-33.
Jennings. 1971. California group arbovi- Yeatter, R.E., and D.H. Thompson. 1952. Tula-
ruses in Florida. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. remia, weather, and rabbit populations. Bull.
20:139-145. Ill. Nat. Hist. Surv. 25:351-382.




*raSSS^ ~ ~
8f JSDi ^SSS
Irv ^^^s^- ^s fl~lga~i8|^









CHAPTER SEVEN




Squirrels







I. Introduction ............................................... 52
II. Environmental contaminants .......................... 53
III. N eoplasia.................................................... 54
IV R abies ...................... ....... .......................... 55
V. Arboviruses ................................................. 56 6
VI. Other viruses..... ...................... ..... 56
VII. Rickettsial diseases.............................. ..... 57 -
VIII. Bacterial diseases............................................. 57
IX. Mycotic diseases ...... .......................... 58
X. Protozoan parasites............... ................... 58 a
XI. Helminths ............................................... 59
XII. Arthropods .............................................. .... 63
XIII. Summary and conclusions ............................... 64
XIV. Literature cited ..................................... ... 65


I. Introduction

Five species of squirrels occur in Florida (Ta- Sherman's fox squirrel, S. n. shermani, is
ble 7-1). Two of these, the gray squirrel and listed as a species of special concern (Wood
the southern flying squirrel, are abundant and 1990).
are found trhe state. One, the In 1986-1987 hunters in Florida killed an

species and occurs only on Elliot Key. The were gray squirrels (Wright 1987).

mon in other parts of its range, occurs only squirrels in North America were reviewed by
in Oklaloosa County in Florida, where it is Flyger and Gates (1982). The literature on
rare and considered a species of special con- parasites of gray squirrels is voluminous, al-
cern (Wood 1990). The status of two sub- though most of the publications deal with
species of fox squirrels is also of concern, descriptions of new parasites and studies on
The Big Cypress fox squirrel, Sciuris niger local populations (Davidson 1975). A num-
avicennia, is considered threatened (Wil- ber of extensive reviews and bibliographies
liams and Humphrey 1979; Wood 1990)and on the parasites of gray squirrels have been






Squirrels 53

Table 7-1 more details on these aspects of the health of
Species of squirrels that occur in Florida gray squirrels.
Common and Range in
scientific names Florida Status
II. Environmental contaminants
1. Eastern chipmunk Okaloosa
Tamias striatus (L.) County Rare
2. Southern flying In 1974, samples of omental fat were ob-
squirrel tained from 22 gray squirrels trapped in city
Glaucomys volans (L.) Statewideb Abundant parks and residential areas of the city of
3. Gray squirrel Jacksonville (Duval County) (Nalley et al.
Sciurus carolinensis Statewide Abundant 1978). These were analyzed for pesticide resi-
Gmelin dues. Low concentrations (less than 1 ppm)
4. Fox squirrel
Sciurus niger L. Statewideb Common of the following compounds were detected:
5. Mexican red-bellied alpha-BHC, gamma-BHC, beta-BHC, aldrin,
squirrel' dieldrin, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, ox-
Sciurus aureogaster ychlordane, nonachlor, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-
Cuvier Elliot Key Common DDT, o,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDE, o,p'-DDD, and
Source: Brown (1987). p,p'-DDD. Up to 4 ppm of PCB was detected
aListed as "species of special concern" by the Florida Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission (Wood 1990). in 4 squirrels. The PCB compounds were not
bAbsent from the Florida Keys. identified as to specific chlorine content.
'Introduced species. There was no relationship of residues with
the age or sex of the squirrels.
published (Doran 1954a, 1954b, 1955a, Samples of hair from the tails of 66 gray
1955b; Katz 1939; Clark 1959; Parker 1971; squirrels from the Jacksonville area were ana-
Davidson 1975). Two extensive studies on lyzed for mercury concentrations (Jenkins et
endoparasites (Davidson 1975, 1976) and al. 1980). Values ranged from 0.07 to 9.2
bacteria (Best 1977) have been conducted in ppm, with squirrels older than two years hav-
the southeastern United States, but did not ing significantly higher concentrations. The
include Florida. Data from several collection overall mean value (1.1 ppm) for these urban
sites in southern Georgia and Alabama, squirrels was significantly greater than con-
however, are of relevance to Florida squir- centrations (mean, 0.43 ppm) found in six
rels. In Florida, two localized studies, one on gray squirrels from a rural area in Pasco
gray squirrels in Duval County and one on County. The authors concluded that squirrels
fox squirrels in Putnam County, contributed were good indicators of the presence of mer-
the bulk of our knowledge of squirrel para- cury in the environment, but not as good as
sites and diseases in this state. No disease raccoons. The source of mercury contamina-
information is available on Eastern chip- tion in these squirrels was unknown.
munks and red-bellied squirrels in Florida. In a related study, concentrations of lead,
Baseline values for serum proteins have zinc, and cadmium were determined in 180
been published for gray squirrels in Florida urban and 12 rural gray squirrels (Table 7-
(Chan et al. 1976) as have various determina- 2). Concentrations of lead and zinc in the
tions on hematology, serum chemistry, and kidneys of the squirrels from Jacksonville
urinalysis (Hoff et al. 1976a, 1976b). The were similar for all age groups, but concentra-
reader is referred to these publications for tions of cadmium increased up to two years






54 Squirrels

Table 7-2 of which are known to accumulate cesium-
Mean concentrations of cadmium, zinc, and 137 (Johnson and Nayfield 1970; Stock-
lead in kidneys of gray squirrels from 2 areas in bridge and Jenkins 1974). The original source
northern Florida was believed to be fallout from weapons test-
No. ing before 1964. (See Chapter 20 for a discus-
Age (yr) squirrels Cadmium Zinc Lead sion on radionuclide concentrations in white-
Jacksonville tailed deer.)
<1 75 4 28 1 The significance of the above findings on
1 69 9 30 1 the health of gray squirrels in Florida is un-
2 20 15 31 1 known. However, Bigler and Hoff (1976)
3 10 16 23 1 concluded that gray squirrels were sensitive
4 6 16 23 1 indicators of lead, cesium-137, and mercury,
Gulf Hammock but not pesticides, and that they would serve
1 5 2 14 1 as a "suitable animal for urban environmen-
2 7 5 19 1
S 7 5 1 tal monitoring" (p. 539). More information
Source: McKinnon et al. (1976). on toxicosis and environmental contamina-
Note: All values are in ppm wet wt.
tion is needed on gray squirrels in rural or
"wild" situations in addition to similar types
of age. Values in the squirrels from Gulf of data on the other three species of tree squir-
Hammock Wildlife Management area (a ru- rels in Florida.
ral area) were lower than those in squirrels
from Jacksonville. One noteworthy facet of
this study was the finding of the highest con-
centrations of lead in squirrels trapped from HI. Neoplasia
neighborhoods classified as low socioeco-
nomic areas. The reasons for this were uncer- An outbreak of squirrel fibromatosis was
tain, but may have been related to automobile documented in February 1974 on Amelia Is-
emissions (McKinnon et al. 1976). land, Nassau County (Forrester 1974). Sev-
Concentrations of cesium-137 ranged eral gray squirrels were observed in the wild
from 250 to 29,000 pCi/kg of muscle in 66 with skin nodules. One animal was collected
gray squirrels from Jacksonville (Jenkins et and submitted for necropsy. This animal was
al. 1980). There were higher amounts of ce- emaciated and had multiple skin tumors, es-
sium in squirrels trapped near schools than in pecially on the head (Figure 7-1). The eyelids
squirrels from other areas (low-income areas, were involved to the degree that the squirrel
parks, and cemeteries). Other studies have was obviously blinded.
shown that squirrels from urban localities These tumors or fibromas are caused by a
contain lower concentrations of cesium than poxvirus (Yuill 1981), which is suspected of
squirrels from nearby rural areas (Jenkins being transmitted from animal to animal by
and Fendley 1968). Jenkins et al. (1980) con- mosquitoes (Kilham 1955). Such infections
cluded that the concentrations in these squir- are uncommon in the Southeast (Davidson
rels were not of public health significance. and Nettles 1988) and the above outbreak is
They speculated also that cesium-137 was the only one known from Florida. Since this
acquired by the squirrels from feeding on is not a prevalent disease, there is probably
mushrooms, acorns, or palmetto berries, all no significant effect at the population level,






Squirrels 55


























FIGURE 7-1. Head of a gray squirrel from Nassau County with numerous cutaneous fibromas.

although the effects on individuals can be and feet in some cases to the point of amputa-
fatal. tion"; Winkler et al. 1972, p. 101). The au-
thors concluded that the squirrels were more
susceptible to the rabies virus from raccoons
IV. Rabies than to the virus of bat origin.
In spite of the above findings, natural in-
Gray squirrels in Florida have been shown to fections of squirrels by rabies virus are rare.
be susceptible to rabies virus (Winkler et al. In the United States 184 cases of rabies were
1972). Thirty gray squirrels were trapped diagnosed in various species of squirrels be-
near Orange Park, Florida, and were inocu- tween 1953 and 1970 (Winkler 1972). Be-
lated intramuscularly with rabies viruses, 15 tween 1957 and 1983, 9,304 squirrels
with a virus obtained from a yellow bat from (mostly gray squirrels) were tested for rabies
Tampa and 15 with a virus from a raccoon in Florida. Only one squirrel (a flying squirrel
from Inverness. Twenty of the squirrels died, from Putnam County) was positive (Venters
7 that had received the bat virus and 13 that and Jennings 1962). One other known case
had received the raccoon virus. About half of of rabies in squirrels in Florida was in a gray
the infected squirrels exhibited typical signs squirrel diagnosed in 1913 (Prather et al.
of the furious form of rabies, that is, aggres- 1975; Burridge et al. 1986).
siveness and self-mutilation ("chewing tails Because rabies is so rarely seen in squirrels,






56 Squirrels

the U.S. Public Health Service states that bites (species not given; probably gray squirrels)
by squirrels seldom, if ever, require rabies in Florida. The first squirrel was from Palm
treatment (Winkler 1972). The Florida Divi- Beach County in 1954 (Kissling et al. 1956);
sion of Health recommends the use of rabies the second squirrel was from Orange County
immunization after a person is bitten by a in 1961 (Gainer 1961). In the latter instance
squirrel only if the animal exhibits bizarre the author attributed the cause of death to
behavior (unprovoked attack) or obvious ill- the viral infection, but gave no details on
ness prior to a bite (Prather et al. 1975). lesions and the like. EMC virus has been iso-
lated also from cotton rats and raccoons in
Florida (see Chapters 10 and 12).
V. Arboviruses Wildlife, therefore, may serve some role as
reservoir hosts of EMC virus, which causes an
Two arboviruses (Keystone and SLE viruses) important disease in domestic animals such as
have been reported from gray squirrels in swine (Gainer 1967). This role may not be
Florida (Table 7-3). SLE virus is of public significant, however, since such infections in
health importance, whereas the significance wild mammals are not common (Gainer and
of Keystone virus to human health is un- Bigler 1967).
known (Karabatsos 1985). Both viruses are Isolates of human echovirus 1/8 complex
probably of little importance to squirrel pop- were obtained from feces of 5 of 180 squirrels
ulations in Florida. from Duval County (Hoff et al. 1980). The
significance of this finding to the health of
gray squirrels or man is not known. Hoff et
VI. Other viruses al. (1980) were unable to infect squirrels with
the ECHO 1/8 complex virus per os. The
Encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus has been source of virus was not determined, but it
isolated from brain tissue of two squirrels was suspected that the squirrels acquired it


Table 7-3
Arboviruses reported from gray squirrels in Florida

No. squirrels Location
Arbovirus Exam. Pos. Date (county) Data source
Keystone 17 3 1964-67 Hillsborough Jennings et al. (1968),
Taylor et al. (1971)
4 1 1965-74 Alachua Bigler et al. (1975)
180a 0a 1974 Duval White et al. (1975)
SLEb 19 1 1962 Hillsborough Jennings et al. (1969)
180 0 1974 Duval Bigler et al. (1975)
Everglades 180 0 1974 "
EEE' 180 0 1974 "
Note: All data are from serologic studies unless otherwise indicated.
aln addition to serologic studies on these animals, brain samples and blood clots were processed in an attempt to isolate
arboviruses. None was found (White et al. 1975).
bSLE = St. Louis encephalitis virus.
"EEE = eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus.






Squirrels 57

from surface water contaminated with raw VIII. Bacterial diseases
sewage.
Shotts et al. (1975) examined 26 gray squir-
rels, 27 fox squirrels, and 1 flying squirrel for
VII. Rickettsial diseases cultural or serologic evidence of leptospiral
infection. These animals were collected at
Epidemic typhus is a rickettsial disease of man Tall Timbers Research Station in Leon
caused by Rickettsia prowazekii. The disease County, Florida, and on three private planta-
is spread from man to man by the human body tions in southwestern Georgia. Leptospira in-
louse (Pediculus humanus humanus). Epi- terrogans serovar grippotyphosa was recov-
demic typhus resembles murine typhus (dis- ered from one fox squirrel and L. interrogans
cussed in Chapter 9), but is usually more se- serovar ballum from one gray squirrel. The
vere with mortality rates as high as 20% flying squirrel was negative. In another study
(Philip 1980). Flying squirrels were impli- of 180 gray squirrels from Jacksonville, no
cated as reservior hosts of this disease when evidence of infections by leptospires was
Bozeman et al. (1975) reported that in 1973- found (White et al. 1975). McKeever et al.
74, 104 of 215 flying squirrels from northern (1958d) cultured 11 fox squirrels in southern
and central Florida were seropositive. Ricket- Georgia (close to the Florida border) for lep-
tsia prowazekii was isolated from six of these tospires. All were negative.
animals. Subsequent studies have shown that White et al. (1975) conducted other bacte-
the rickettsial organism is transmitted from riologic studies on the 180 gray squirrels and
squirrel to squirrel by biting ectoparasites found no evidence of Salmonella or tularemia
(primarily fleas, Orchopeas howardii, and organisms. Cultures of the mouths of some
sucking lice, Neohaematopinus sciuropteri), of these squirrels were positive for alpha-he-
but that transmission to humans is due not to molytic Streptococcus sp., Staphylococcus
the bites of fleas and lice, but to the inhalation epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Entero-
of ectoparasite feces that become aerosolized bacter sp., Bacillus sp., Proteus vulgaris,
when squirrels groom themselves (McDade Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Esherichia
1987). Although human cases of epidemic ty- coli. Eight of 180 blood cultures were positive
phus associated with contacts with flying for bacteria. Three were positive for alpha-
squirrels have been reported from a number hemolytic Streptococcus, two for Bacillus sp.,
of states (including Georgia, North Carolina, two for Staphylococcus epidermidis, and one
Tennessee, and Virginia), none has been rec- for a gram-positive microaerophilic rod. The
ognized in Florida (McDade 1987). However, authors felt that these isolations of bacteria
this potentially could occur since the ricket- from a few blood cultures were probably due
tsia is present in flying squirrels in Florida and to contamination during collection.
the proper species of fleas and sucking lice are McKeever et al. (1958b) tested six fox
known from Florida squirrels. Nothing is squirrels from Leon County for antibodies
known about the effects of this rickettsia on to Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent
flying squirrels. of tularemia. All squirrels were negative, but
White et al. (1975) found no serologic evi- one of nine fox squirrels in southern Thomas
dence of rickettsial infections in 180 gray County, Georgia (just north of the Florida
squirrels examined from urban areas near border), was seropositive. Hoff et al. (1975)
Jacksonville. reported three gray squirrels in Florida (local-






58 Squirrels

ity not given) to be negative for antibodies to tures of hair-skin scrapings and toenails
F. tularensis. (Lewis et al. 1975). Nine squirrels had minor
One case of pyogenic otitis media was skin lesions on the hindquarters and legs;
found in a fox squirrel from Leon County Trichophyton mentagrophytes was isolated
in 1980 (SCWDS records), but the bacteria from six of these and Mucor sp. from one.
involved were not determined. These two fungi were isolated from 107
(59%) of these squirrels, although most of
the animals exhibited no skin lesions. There
IX. Mycotic diseases were 114 squirrels carrying fungi of impor-
tance to humans. Four species of fungi were
The study conducted on 180 gray squirrels considered of significance: Candida albicans,
from urban areas in Jacksonville resulted in Microsporum gypseum, Scopulariopsis brevi-
942 isolates of fungi representing 19 genera caulis, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
(Table 7-4). These were recovered from cul- These could pose a disease problem in hunters
handling gray squirrels. One of the authors
Table 7-4 of the above-mentioned article contracted an
Isolates of fungi from 180 gray squirrels in infection by T. mentagrophytes. Similar in-
Jacksonville, Florida, 1974 fections were reported by DeLamater (1939)

No. isolates from handling gray squirrels.
Hair-skin Toe- McKeever et al. (1958c) examined 4 gray
Fungus scrapings nails squirrels and 59 fox squirrels from south-
western Georgia and northwestern Florida
Alternaria sp. 82 45
Aspergillus glaucusb 3 and found no fungal infections.
Aspergillus nigerb 29 20
Aspergillus sp. 60 28
Candida albicansb 0 2 X. Protozoan parasites
Candida tropicalis 5 4
Cladosporium sp. 114 57 Davidson (1975) reviewed the literature on
Curvularia sp. 2 0
Fusarium sp. 1 3 protozoan parasites of gray squirrels and
Helminthosporium sp. 13 3 listed 11 species from squirrels in various
Microsporum gypseumb 1 8 parts of the United States. Flyger and Gates
Mucor sp.a,b 50 53 (1982) gave information on gray and fox
Nigrospora sp. 1 1 squirrels. An extensive survey of parasites of
Oospora sp. 5 3 in
Paecilomyces sp. 2 0 gray squirrels was conducted recently in the
Penicillium sp. 133 97 southeastern United States (Davidson 1976),
Rhizopus sp. 1 0 but unfortunately no squirrels from Florida
Scopulariopsis brevicaulisb 7 52 were included in the study. Several collection
Streptomyces sp. 4 0 sites in southern Georgia and Alabama pro-
Trichoderma sp. 4 4 -
Trichoderma s.b 4 b vided data of value to those interested in para-
Trichophyton mentagrophytesa'b 26 13
Trichothecium sp. 1 0 sites of squirrels in Florida due to their prox-
Totals 544 398 imity to the Florida border. In that study three
species of coccidia were identified, one of
Source: Lewis et al. (1975).
apotentially pathogenic for squirrels. which (Eimeria confusa) was found in squir-
bPotentially pathogenic for humans, rels collected in the southwestern tip of






Squirrels 59

Georgia (Decatur County). In addition, Hep- squirrels and 48 fox squirrels in southwestern
atozoon griseisciuri and an unidentified spe- Georgia and northwestern Florida for try-
cies of Sarcocystis were found also in squirrels panosomes. None was infected.
from southern Georgia and Alabama. The pathologic significance of these proto-
In 1974 fecal samples from 192 gray squir- zoan parasites is uncertain. Davidson and
rels in the Jacksonville area were examined Calpin (1976) concluded that infections by
for coccidial oocysts (Forrester et al. 1977). H. griseisciuri caused significant damage to
Oocysts were found in 97% of the samples. the lungs and thereby could be related to
These represented three species: Eimeria lan- gray squirrel mortality in late winter in the
casterensis, E. confusa, and E. ontarioensis Southeast. Davidson (1976) did not find le-
(Table 7-5). Squirrels were sampled each sions associated with coccidial infections in
month throughout the year, but there was gray squirrels and concluded that these proto-
no variation in oocyst prevalence by season. zoans were not harmful to squirrels unless
Eimeria lancasterensis was recovered from a infections were massive. Joseph (1972) felt
road-killed fox squirrel from Alachua County that Eimeria confusa and E. lancasterensis
in 1977 (Forrester 1984). A new species of were nonpathogenic.
coccidia (E. parasciurorum) was described
from fecal material collected from a flying
squirrel in Gainesville (Bond and Bovee
1957). XI. Helminths
Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were de-
tected in 1 of 265 gray squirrels and none Davidson (1975) listed 34 species of hel-
of 2 flying squirrels examined from Florida minths from the gray squirrel throughout its
(Burridge et al. 1979). Blood films from four range. These included 1 trematode, 1 acan-
gray squirrels from Duval County were pos- thocephalan, 9 cestodes, and 23 nematodes.
itive for Hepatozoon griseisciuri (Table 7-5). In Florida our knowledge of the helminths
McKeever et al. (1958a) cultured 3 gray of gray squirrels is based mainly on two stud-


Table 7-5
Protozoan parasites reported from gray squirrels in Florida

No. squirrels Basis of
Protozoan Exam. Inf. (%) Date County diagnosis Data source
Toxoplasma 265 1 (<1) NGa NG Serologyb Burridge et al. (1979)
gondii
Eimeria 192 184 (96) 1974 Duval Fecal Forrester et al. (1977)
lancasterensis analysis
Eimeria confusa 192 30 (16) 1974 Duval Fecal "
analysis
Eimeria 192 5 (3) 1974 Duval Fecal "
ontarioensis analysis
Hepatozoon 180 4 (2) 1974 Duval Blood Forrester (1987)
griseisciuri smears
aNG = not given by authors.
blndirect fluorescent antibody test.






60 Squirrels

ies, one conducted in the Jacksonville area free of helminths. There were no differences
(Conti et al. 1984) and one in Marion County in prevalence with respect to host sex or age,
(Parker et al. 1972). Nine species of helminths but male squirrels had significantly higher in-
(six nematodes, two cestodes, and one acan- tensities of S. robustus. There were higher
thocephalan) were found (Table 7-6). prevalences of S. robustus and Heligmoden-
The study on urban gray squirrels in the drium hassalli during the winter months.
Jacksonville area resulted in several notewor- The helminth fauna of urban gray squirrels
thy findings. Strongyloides robustus was the in Jacksonville was more sparse (nine species)
most abundant species and made up 61% compared to the number of species (24) re-
of the 4,098 worms collected from the 180 ported by Davidson (1976) from gray squir-
squirrels. The other species of helminths oc- rels from nonurban areas in the Southeast
curred infrequently and in low numbers. Of (excluding Florida). The prevalences of the
the 180 squirrels examined, 49 (27%) were helminths with indirect life cycles (the tape-


Table 7-6
Helminths of gray squirrels from Florida

No. squirrels Intensity
Helminth Exam. Inf. (%) Mean Range Date County Data source
Nematoda
Physaloptera sp. (larvae) 180 4 (2) 22 1-65 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
Strongyloides robustus 180 92 (51) 27 1-800 1974 Duval " "
4 1 (25) 25 1969 Marion Parker et al. (1972)
NG" NG NG NG NG Highlands Layne (1987)
Heligmodendrium hassalli 180 47 (26) 17 1-181 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
4 3 (75) 53 1-115 1969 Marion Parker et al, (1972)
NG NG NG NG NG Highlands Layne (1987)
Trichostrongylus calcaratus 180 4 (2) 2 1-3 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
4 1 (25) 1 1969 Marion Parker et al. (1972)
Syphacia thompsoni 180 11 (6) 4 1-26 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
4 2 (50) 1 1 1969 Marion Parker et al. (1972)
Dipetalonema interstitium 180 5 (3) 1 1 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
Microfilariae (prob. of
D. interstitium) 180 18 (10) 1974 Duval "
Capillaria hepatica 11 0 (0) 1957- Alachua, Layne (1968)
64 Highlands,
Levy,
Pinellas
Cestoda
Raillietina bakeri 180 59 (33) 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
Taenia rileyi NG NG NG NG NG Highlands Layne (1987)
Acanthocephala
Moniliformis clarki 180 45 (25) 16 1-183 1974 Duval Conti et al. (1984)
4 2 (50) 2 1-3 1969 Marion Parker et al. (1972)
24 3 (13) NGb NG 1946 Putnam Moore (1957)
aNG = not given.
blntensities were not given for all 3 squirrels. One had 6 worms; the other 2 had "some."







Squirrels 61

Table 7-7
Arthropod parasites reported from gray squirrels in Florida

Arthropod County Data source

Ticks
Amblyomma tuberculatum Putnam Moore (1957)
Amblyomma americanum "No. Florida" Rogers (1953)
Alachua Boardman (1929)
Dermacentor variabilis Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Mites
Eutrombicula alfreddugesi Alachua, Levy Rohani & Cromroy (1979),
FSCAa
Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Eutrombicula splendens Duval "
Eutrombicula sp. Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Laelaps nuttalli Hillsborough "
Androlaelaps casalis Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Alachua FSCA
Androlaelaps fahrenholzi Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Leptotrombidium peromysci Duval "
Parasecia g. gurneyi Duval "
Fleas
Hoplopsyllus glacialis affinis Highlands Layne (1971), FSCA
Echidnophaga gallinacea Hillsborough Layne (1971), Worth (1950),
FSCA
Orchopeas howardii Alachua, Duval, Gilchrist, Layne (1971), Worth (1950),
Highlands, Hillsborough, FSCA
Indian River, Levy,
St. Johns, Sumter
Pulex simulans Alachua FSCA
Sucking lice
Neohaematopinus sciurinus Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Indian River, Levy FSCA
Neohaematopinus sciuri Alachua Kim et al. (1986)
Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Enderleinellus longiceps Alachua FSCA
Hoplopleura sciuricola Duval Wilson et al. (1991)
Biting lice
Penenirmus sp.b Duval "
Botflies
Cuterebra emasculator Alachua Forrester (1984), Sabrosky (1986)
Phaenicia sp. Leon SCWDS records
aFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.
bOne specimen of this biting louse was found on 1 of 180 gray squirrels from Jacksonville. This is normally a parasite of birds
and represents an accidental host-parasite association. The squirrel probably acquired the louse while exploring a bird nest.






62 Squirrels

worm and the acanthocephalan) were higher We examined three fox squirrels from Ala-
in urban squirrels (33% and 25%, respec- chua County and two from Glades County
tively) than in the nonurban squirrels (6% from 1975 to 1977. All five had infections of
and 1%). This may be due to differences in Strongyloides robustus, with intensities of 1,
host density, home range sizes, stress, habitat 8, and 20 for the Alachua County animals
diversity, or food quality, availability, and and 1 and 41 for the Glades County animals.
preference. The pathologic significance of Layne (1968) examined one fox squirrel from
these helminths to gray squirrel populations Alachua County and one from Levy County
is unknown. for infections by Capillaria hepatica. Both
Flyger and Gates (1982) listed 23 species were negative.
of helminths (9 nematodes, 12 cestodes, and Moore (1957) reported infections of M.
2 acanthocephalans) from fox squirrels in clarki in 5 of 15 flying squirrels from Putnam
North America. Little information exists on County in 1946-1947. Intensities were 1, 1,
fox squirrels in Florida. Moore (1957) exam- 1, 7, and 14 worms per squirrel. The pin-
ined 24 fox squirrels from Putnam County worm Syphacia thompsoni was recorded
and found infections by Moniliformis clarki from a flying squirrel in Highlands County
in four squirrels (17%), with intensities of 1, (Layne 1987). Layne (1968) examined two
1, 10, and 33 per squirrel. He also found the flying squirrels from Alachua County for in-
tapeworm Raillietina bakeri in two squirrels fections by Capillaria hepatica. None was
(one of which had a concurrent infection of found. No other data are available on hel-
M. clarki), but gave no values for intensity. minths of flying squirrels in Florida.
























FIGURE 7-2. Gray squirrel from Alachua County with numerous botfly larvae (Cuterebra emasculator).
Note empty cavity from which larva has emerged (arrow).






Squirrels 63































FIGURE 7-3. Close-up of same squirrel shown in Figure 7-2. Note bots in situ and empty cavities from
which larvae have emerged (arrows).

XII. Arthropods ida, at least in north-central Florida. Its life
cycle has not been determined, although it is
A checklist of ectoparasites of gray squirrels probably similar to other species known to
in North America by Flyger and Gates (1982) parasitize rodents and lagomorphs (Har-
included 48 species, of which 25 were ticks wood and James 1979). In those species eggs
and mites, 15 were fleas, 7 were sucking lice, are laid in or near the nests or burrows of
and 1 was a cuterebrid botfly. In Florida 21 rodents by the adult fly, which resembles a
species have been reported from gray squir- bumblebee. Larvae hatch from the eggs and
rels, and include 3 ticks, 8 mites, 4 fleas, 4 enter natural body openings and the skin and
sucking lice, and 2 bots or warbles (Table 7- grow into grub-like larvae that may reach up
7). to one inch in length (Figure 7-2). The larvae
The botfly (Cuterebra emasculator) is eventually emerge from the animal, pupate
probably the most interesting and commonly on the ground, and develop into an adult fly.
noticed ectoparasite of gray squirrels in Flor- The effects of the warbles or bots on gray







64 Squirrels

squirrels are probably minimal and appear mites, two fleas, and three sucking lice (Table
more harmful than they actually are. Their 7-8).
occurrence on gray squirrels in north-central Seven species of arthropods have been re-
Florida is seasonal. We commonly see them ported from flying squirrels in Florida (Table
in the fall, when we can expect a number of 7-9), and include four fleas, two sucking lice,
phone calls from people who are alarmed at and one botfly. Botfly larvae (Cuterebra sp.)
seeing "tumors" or "bumps" on the backs of were found in three young flying squirrels
squirrels in their backyard. Usually there are from Alachua County in 1987 (Forrester
one or two bots per squirrel, but we have seen 1987). This is the first report of this cutere-
squirrels with more than 10 (Figures 7-2 and brid from flying squirrels (Sabrosky 1986).
7-3).
Flyger and Gates (1982) listed 24 species
of ectoparasites, including 13 ticks and mites, XIII. Summary and conclusions
7 fleas, 3 sucking lice, and 1 botfly from fox
squirrels in North America. Fourteen species Ninety-one different parasites, disease
are known from Florida, largely due to the agents, and environmental contaminants
efforts of Moore (1957), who worked in Put- have been identified in gray squirrels from
nam County. These include six ticks, three Florida. These include 16 pesticides, 4 heavy


Table 7-8
Arthropod parasites reported from fox squirrels in Florida

Arthropod County Data source
Ticks
Ixodes texanus Taylor Rogers (1953)
Ixodes scapularis Putnam Moore (1957)
Amblyomma americanum Putnam "
Amblyomma maculatum Putnam "
Amblyomma tuberculatum Putnam
"Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Dermacentor variabilis Putnam Moore (1957)
"Northern Fla." Rogers (1953)
Mites
Eutrombicula alfreddugesi Putnam Moore (1957)
Atricholaelaps megaventralis Putnam "
Listrophorus sp. Putnam
Fleas
Orchopeas howardii Alachua, Gilchrist, Highlands, Fuller (1943), Layne (1971),
Levy, Putnam, Sumter Moore (1957)
Hoplopsyllus glacialis affinis Alachua FSCA"
Sucking lice
Hoplopleura sciuricola Putnam Moore (1957)
Neohaematopinus sciurinus Putnam "
Enderleinellus sp. Putnam "
"FSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.






Squirrels 65

Table 7-9
Arthropod parasites reported from flying squirrels in Florida

Arthropod County Data source
Fleas
Orchopeas howardii Alachua, Clay, Duval, Layne (1971)
Highlands
Opisodasys pseudoarctomys Dade Schwartz (1952)
Hoplopsyllus glacialis affinis Alachua, Clay FSCA"
Polygenis gwyni NGb Layne (1971)
Sucking lice
Neohaematopinus sciuropteri Putnam Kim et al. (1986)
Hoplopleura trispinosa Putnam "
Botflies
Cuterebra sp. Alachua Forrester (1987)
aFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry,
Florida Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.
bNG = not given by author.


metals, 1 radionuclide, 5 viruses, 10 bacteria, Hoff (1976) concluded that these are of mi-
19 fungi, 5 protozoa, 9 helminths, and 22 nor importance. One exception to this might
arthropods. Nineteen such disease agents (1 be Rickettsia prowazekii, the etiologic agent
species of bacteria, 1 protozoan, 3 helminths, of epidemic typhus. Bigler and Hoff (1976)
and 14 arthropods) are known from fox concluded that squirrels were sensitive indi-
squirrels. Less is known about flying squir- cators of lead, mercury, and cesium-137, but
rels, for which 12 disease agents (1 virus, 1 not pesticides. They further concluded that
rickettsia, 1 protozoan, 2 helminths, and 7 the gray squirrel could serve as a suitable
arthropods) have been reported. Nothing is animal for environmental monitoring in the
known about the health status of chipmunks urban ecosystem.
and red-bellied squirrels in Florida.
Information on the frequency and distribu-
tion of these parasites and diseases is ex-
XIV. Literature cited
tremely limited. With the exception of rabies
virus, ECHO 1/8 complex virus, and some
coccidia, no studies have been undertaken to Best, R.B. 1977. The eastern gray squirrel (Sci-
determine the effects of these disease agents urus carolinensis) as a potential reservoir of
on squirrels. It is therefore not possible to organisms of public health interest. M.S. the-
draw conclusions at this time concerning the sis, Univ. of Georgia, Athens. 56 pp.
impact of diseases on populations of any of Bigler, W.J., and G.L. Hoff. 1976. Urban wild-
impact of diseases on populations of any of
life and community health: Gray squirrels as
these species of squirrels, environmental monitors. Proc. Ann. Conf.
From a public health standpoint the squir- S.E. Assoc. Game Fish Comm. 30:536-540.
rel does not appear to be a serious hazard. Bigler, W.J., E. Lassing, E. Buff, A.L. Lewis, and
Even though there are reports of a number G.L. Hoff. 1975. Arbovirus surveillance in
of viruses, bacteria, and fungi that could be Florida: Wild vertebrate studies, 1965-
transferred from squirrels to man, Bigler and 1974. J. Wildl. Dis. 11:348-356.






66 Squirrels

Boardman, E.T. 1929. Ticks of the Gainesville manual of wildlife diseases in the southeast-
area. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Florida, Gaines- ern United States. Southeastern Cooperative
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Bond, B.B., and E.C. Bovee. 1957. A redescrip- Athens. 309 pp.
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squirrel Glaucomys volans, designating it host to a ringworm fungus. Mycologia
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hosts for six serotypes of leptospires. Am. J. 1975. Leptospirosis in selected wild mam-
Trop. Med. Hyg. 7:646-655. mals of the Florida panhandle and south-
McKinnon, J.G., G.L. Hoff., W.J. Bigler, and western Georgia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.
E.C. Prather. 1976. Heavy metal concentra- 167:587-589.
tions in kidneys of urban gray squirrels. J. Stockbridge, D.L., and J.H. Jenkins. 1974. Bio-
Wildl. Dis. 12:367-371. accumulation and seasonal fluctuation of ce-
Moore, J.C. 1957. The natural history of the sium-137 in vegetation from the Waycross
fox squirrel, Sciurus niger shermani. Bull. State Forest, Georgia. Bull. Ga. Acad. Sci.
Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 113:1-71. 32:37-47.
Nally, L., G. Hoff, W. Bigler, and N. Schneider. Taylor, D.J., A.L. Lewis, J.D. Edman, and W.L.
1978. Pesticide levels in the omental fat of Jennings. 1971. California group arbovi-
urban gray squirrels. Bull. Environ. Contam. ruses in Florida-Host-vector relations. Am.
and Toxicol. 23:42-46. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 20:139-145.
Parker, J.C. 1971. Protozoan, helminth and ar- Venters, H.D., and W.L. Jennings. 1962. Rabies
thropod parasites of the gray squirrel in in a flying squirrel. Pub. Health Rep. 77:200.
southwestern Virginia. Ph.D. diss., Virginia White, F.H., G.L. Hoff, W.J. Bigler, and E. Buff.
Polytechnic Inst., Blacksburg. 262 pp. 1975. A microbiologic study of the urban
Parker, J.C., E.J. Riggs, and R.B. Holliman. gray squirrel. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.
1972. Notes on parasites of gray squirrels 167:603-604.
from Florida. Quart. J. Fla. Acad. Sci. Williams, K.S., and S.R. Humphrey. 1979. Dis-
35:161-162. tribution and status of the endangered Big
Philip, R.N. 1980. Typhus-group rickettsiae. In: Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicenna)
CRC handbook series in zoonoses. Section in Florida. Fla. Scientist 42:201-205.
A: Bacterial, rickettsial and mycotic diseases. Wilson, N.A., S.R. Telford, Jr., and D.J. Forres-
Vol. 2. J.H. Steele (ed.). CRC Press, Boca ter. 1991. Ecoparasites of a population of
Raton, Fla. pp. 317-335. urban gray squirrels in northern Florida. J.
Prather, E.C., W.J. Bigler, G.L. Hoff, and J.A. Med. Entomol. 28:461-464.
Tomas. 1975. Rabies in Florida. History, sta- Winkler, W.G. 1972. Rodent rabies in United
tus, trends. Fla. Div. of Health Monogr. Se- States. J. Infect. Dis. 126:565-567.
ries, No. 14. Jacksonville. 122 pp. Winkler, W.G., N.J. Schneider, and W.J. Jen-
Rogers, A.J. 1953. A study of the ixodid ticks nings. 1972. Experimental rabies infection in
of northern Florida, including the biology wild rodents. J. Wildl. Dis. 8:99-103.
and life history of Ixodes scapularis Say (Ixo- Wood, D.A. 1990. Official lists of endangered






Squirrels 69

and potentially endangered fauna and flora nomic survey. Florida Game and Fresh Wa-
in Florida. Florida Game and Fresh Water ter Fish Commission, Tallahassee. P-R Re-
Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 19 pp. port, W-33.
Worth, C.B. 1950. A preliminary host-ectopar- Yuill, T.M. 1981. Myxomatosis and fibro-
asite register for some small mammals of matosis. In: Infectious diseases of wild mam-
Florida. J. Parasitol. 36:497-498. mals. 2d ed. J.W. Davis et al. (eds.). Iowa
Wright, T.J. 1987. Wildlife harvest and eco- State Univ. Press, Ames. pp. 154-177.





A lux

^ ^ C
^z1^








CHAPTER EIGHT



Pocket Gophers














I. Introduction .................................................. 70
II. Rabies............................................................ 71
III. H elm inths ...................................................... 71
IV. Arthropods .................................................... 71
V. Summary and conclusions ............................. 72
VI. Literature cited ............................................. 73


I. Introduction

The southeastern pocket gopher (Geomys pi- cialized of all rodents (Lowery 1974). They
netis Rafinesque) is abundant in the panhan- spend most of their life underground in bur-
dle and in most of the northern half of penin- rows and are rarely seen. The conspicuous
sular Florida (Stevenson 1976; Brown 1987). mounds thrown up during construction of
Four subspecies are recognized in Florida, their burrows, however, indicate their pres-
one of which (Geomys pinetis goffi, Goff's ence. Local people in Florida often refer to
pocket gopher) is listed as endangered by the these animals as "salamanders." Several bib-
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commis- liographies and reviews on the parasites of
sion (Wood 1990). The distribution of Goff's pocket gophers have been prepared (Doran
pocket gopher is very limited (Ehrhart 1978). 1954; Doran 1955; Chase et al. 1982;
It is found only in Brevard County (Mel- Teipner et al. 1983). The majority of the
bourne) and, according to Humphrey (1981) citations are concerned with arthropods
and Humphrey et al. (1987), the subspecies and of those, most deal with biting lice. Very
may be extinct, little has been done on the southeastern
Pocket gophers are exclusively North pocket gopher outside of several reports on
American and are among the most highly spe- parasites.






Pocket Gophers 71

II. Rabies infection by this worm and found almost no
parasites in gophers during the summer (Fig-
One gopher was examined in 1983 and found ure 8-1). In the fall and winter there was
to be negative for rabies (Burridge et al. an increase in intensities, with some animals
1986). Like other rodents, gophers are most carrying up to 10% of their body weight in
likely of no importance in the epidemiology stomach worms. He also noted that mortality
of rabies in Florida. in the population he studied in Alachua
County was greatest during late fall and win-
ter. This mortality was associated with low
III. Helminths temperatures and declines in available nutri-
ents and water. Mastophorus muris cycles
In his study on Capillaria hepatica, Layne through fleas and cockroaches as intermedi-
(1968) examined nine southeastern pocket ate hosts (Miyata 1939) and is common in
gophers (one from Alachua County, one from other rodents in Florida such as cotton rats
Gilchrist County, two from Highlands and rice rats (Kinsella 1974, 1988).
County, four from Levy County, and one
from St. Johns County). All were negative. A
spirurid nematode, Mastophorus muris (=
Protospirura ascaroidea), has been reported IV. Arthropods
from the stomach of southeastern pocket go-
phers in Alachua and Lake counties (Ross Thirteen species of parasitic arthropods have
1976; Hubbell and Goff 1940). Ross (1976) been reported from the southeastern pocket
studied seasonal variations in intensities of gopher in Florida and include two ticks, eight

I I I I I I I I I I I I

a. X
040 -, 2 SE.


S30
I--

220 ....
.J


w10- -


z

J F M A M J J A S O N D

MONTH
FIGURE 8-1. Seasonal changes in numbers of Mastophorus muris in the stomachs of southeastern pocket
gophers in Alachua County. (Adapted from Ross 1976.)







72 Pocket Gophers

mites, two biting lice, and one flea (Table 8- phers is difficult to explain, although a num-
1). One of these records, that of the biting ber of other rodents have been found infested
louse, Geomydoecus scleritus, from Goff's in Florida (Layne 1971).
pocket gopher (Price 1975) is of interest since
this subspecies of gopher may now be extinct.
The record of the sticktight flea (Echidno- V. Summary and conclusions
phaga gallinacea) is curious in that this flea is
primarily a parasite of birds or their preda- Information on parasites and diseases of the
tors. The presence of this flea on pocket go- southeastern pocket gopher in Florida is lim-

Table 8-1
Arthropod parasites reported from southeastern pocket gophers in Florida

Location
Arthropod (county) Data source

Ticks
Amblyomma americanum NGa Clifford et al. (1961)
Amblyomma sp.b Alachua Hubbell & Goff (1940)
Mites
Geomylichus floridanus Wakulla, Suwannee, Leon, Radford (1949), Fain &
Hamilton, Alachua Hyland (1974)
Haemolaelaps glasgowi Alachua FSCA'
Haemolaelaps geomys NG Strandtmann (1949)
Haemolaelaps sp. Alachuad FSCA
Hillsborough Worth (1950)
Androlaelaps fahrenholzi Alachua FSCA
Laelaptid Alachua
Macrochilid Alachuad
Parasitid Alachuad
Biting lice
Geomydoecus sclerituse Lake, Jackson Hubbell & Goff (1940)f
Highlands FSCA
Orange FSCA, Price (1975)
Hillsborough Worth (1950), Price & Timm
(1979), Price (1975)
Pinellas, Putnam, Marion, Duval, Price (1975)
Lafayette, Suwannee, Leon,
Alachua, Madison, Wakulla,
Brevard
Geomydoecus mobilensis Walton, Escambia, Washington
Fleas
Echidnophaga gallinacea Hillsborough Worth (1950)
"NG = not given by authors.
bAll specimens were nymphs.
cFSCA = records from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture, Gainesville, Fla.
dSpecimens collected from burrows of the southeastern pocket gopher.
eThis species was described by McGregor (1917) from numerous specimens collected from gophers in Florida, but no localities
were given.
'Hubbell and Goff (1940) reported finding Geomydoecus geomydis on pocket gophers from Lake and Jackson counties. These
most probably were G. scleritus.






Pocket Gophers 73

ited to a small amount of data on 1 nematode Howard, W.E., and H.E. Childs. 1959. Ecology
and 13 arthropods. These parasites are be- of pocket gophers with emphasis on Thomo-
lieved to have little significance to public mys bottae mewa. Hilgardia. 29:277-358.
health and apparently do not cause adverse Hubbell, T.H., and C.C. Goff. 1940. Florida
effects on populations of pocket gophers pocket gopher burrows and their arthro-
(Howard and Childs 1959; Brown 1971; pod inhabitants. Proc. Fla. Acad. Sci. 4:127-
Teipner et al. 1983). Nothing is known about H
Humphrey, S.R. 1981. Goff's pocket gopher
the effects of environmental contaminants, (Geomys pinetis goffi) is extinct. Fla. Sci.
viruses, bacteria, or protozoans on southeast- 44:250-252.
ern pocket gophers in Florida. Humphrey, S.R., W.H. Kern, Jr., and M.S. Lud-
low. 1987. Status survey of seven Florida
mammals. Fla. Coop. Fish and Wildl. Res.
VI. Literature cited Unit Tech. Rep. No. 25. 39 pp.
Kinsella, J.M. 1974. Comparison of helminth
Brown, L.N. 1971. Breeding biology of the parasites of the cotton rat, Sigmodon his-
pocket gopher (Geomys pinetis) in southern pidus, from several habitats in Florida. Am.
Florida. Am. Midl. Nat. 85:45-53. Mus. Nov. 2540:1-12.
1987. A checklist of Florida's mam- ---. 1988. Comparison of helminths of rice
mals. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish rats, Oryzomys palustris, from freshwater
Commission, Tallahassee. 6 pp. and saltwater marshes in Florida. Proc. Hel-
Burridge, M.J., L.A. Sawyer, and WJ. Bigler. minthol. Soc. Wash. 55:275-280.
1986, Rabies in Florida. Department of Layne, J.N. 1968. Host and ecological relation-
Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahas- ships of the parasitic helminth Capillaria he-
see, Fla. 147 pp. patica in Florida mammals. Zoologica.
Chase, J.D., W.E. Howard, and J.T. Roseberry. 53:107-122.
1982. Pocket gophers. Geomyidae. In: Wild -. 1971. Fleas (Siphonaptera) of Florida.
mammals of North America. J.A. Chapman Fla. Entomol. 54:35-51.
and G.A. Feldhamer (eds.). Johns Hopkins Lowery, G.W., Jr. 1974. The mammals of Loui-
Univ. Press, Baltimore. pp. 239-255. siana and its adjacent waters. Louisiana State
Clifford, C.M., G. Anastos, and A. Elbe, 1961. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge. 565 pp.
The larval ixodid ticks of the eastern United McGregor, E.A. 1917. Six new species of Mallo-
States (Acarina-Ixodidae). Misc. Publ. Ento- phaga from North American mammals. Ann.
mol. Soc. Am. 2:213-237. Ent. Soc. Amer. 10:167-175.
Doran, D.J. 1954. A catalogue of the protozoa Miyata, I. 1939. Studies on the life history of
and helminths of North American rodents, the nematode Protospirura muris (Gmelin)
II. Cestoda. Am. Midl. Nat. 52:469-480. parasitic in the stomach of the rat, especially
---. 1955. A catalogue of the protozoa and on the relation of the intermediate hosts,
helminths of North American rodents. III. cockroaches, skin moth and rat fleas. Vol.
Nematoda. Am. Midl. Nat. 53:162-175. Jub. Yoshida 1:101-136.
Ehrhart, L.M. 1978. Goff's pocket gopher. In: Price, R.D. 1975. The Geomydoecus (Mallo-
Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. phaga: Trichodectidae) of the southeastern
1. Mammals. J.N. Layne (ed.). Univ. Presses USA pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyi-
of Florida, Gainesville. pp. 6-7. dae). Proc. Ent. Soc. Wash. 77:61-65.
Fain, A., and K. Hyland. 1974. The listropho- Price, R.D., and R.M. Timm. 1979. Description
roid mites in North America. II. The family of the male of Geomydoecus scleritus (Mal-
Listrophoridae Megnin and Trouessart (Aca- lophaga: Trichodectidae) from the south-
rina: Sarcoptiformes). Bull. K. Belg. Inst. eastern pocket gopher. J. Ga. Entomol. Soc.
Nat. Wet. 50:1-69. 14:162-165.






74 Pocket Gophers

Radford, C.D. 1949. New parasitic mites (Aca- Teipner, C.L., E.O. Garton, and L. Nelson, Jr.
rina: Myialgesidae and Listrophoridae). 1983. Pocket gophers in forest ecosystems.
Proc. Zool. Soc. London 118:933-937. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-
Ross, J.P. 1976. Seasonal energy budgets of a 154. 53 pp.
fossorial rodent Geomys pinetis. Ph.D. diss., Wood, D.A. 1990. Official lists of endangered
Univ. of Florida, Gainesville. 153 pp. and potentially endangered fauna and flora
Stevenson, H.M. 1976. Vertebrates of Florida. in Florida. Florida Game and Fresh Water
Identification and distribution. Univ. Presses Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 19 pp.
of Florida, Gainesville. 607 pp. Worth, C.B. 1950. A preliminary host-ectopar-
Strandtmann, R.W. 1949. The blood-sucking asite register for some small mammals of
mites of the genus Haemolaelaps (Acarina: Florida. J. Parasitol. 36:497-498.
Laelaptidae) in the United States. J. Parasitol.
35:325-352.








CHAPTER NINE



Old World



Rats andMi ce N







I. Introduction ................................................. 75 _
II. V iruses ................................................. ........ 76
III. Rickettsial diseases........................................ .. 76
IV. Bacterial diseases......................................... 77
V. Mycotic diseases ................................ .... 77
VI. Protozoans .................................... .............. 78
VII. H elm inths ....................................................... 78
VIII. Arthropods............................................ 79
IX. Summary and conclusions............................... 82
X. Literature cited............ ......... 83


I. Introduction

Three species of Old World or murid rodents encountered in natural habitats, although the
occur throughout Florida: the black or roof house mouse may be common locally in areas
rat, Rattus rattus (L.), the Norway rat, Rattus distant from development (Layne 1988).
norvegicus (Berkenhout), and the house These three species are of considerable eco-
mouse, Mus musculus L. (Brown 1987). All nomic importance. They are responsible for
three of these species were introduced into crop damage and the destruction and spoilage
North America by man and his activities. The of food and stored grain, and harbor a num-
roof rat and house mouse were introduced ber of zoonotic diseases (Lowery 1974; Jack-
first by explorers and colonists. The Norway son 1982). "On a worldwide basis the dam-
rat came later (about 1775) and has outcom- age caused by Norway and roof rats alone
peted and displaced the roof rat in many areas amounts to billions of dollars, and they are
(Jackson 1982). The Norway rat, however, responsible for inestimable human misery"
is much less common and more restricted in (Lowery 1974, p. 280). Rat-borne diseases
distribution than the roof rat. Of the three such as murine typhus, bubonic plague, lep-
species of murids, the roof rat is most often tospirosis, and rat bite fever have caused the






76 Old World Rats and Mice

loss of more human lives than all the wars and Norway rats were examined for the pres-
and revolutions in recorded history (Lowery ence of antibodies to a number of arbovi-
1974). Because of their close association with ruses, including all or some of the following:
man and his food and buildings, the murids St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus, eastern
are often referred to as commensals (Smith et equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus, Ever-
al. 1957; Jackson 1982), which means "shar- glades virus (strains Fe3-7C and TC-83 of the
ing the table." On the positive side, the white endemic strains of Venezuelan equine en-
mutant of the Norway rat has made valu- cephalomyelitis [VEE] virus), Keystone virus,
able contributions to the welfare of mankind and Tensaw (TEN) virus (Bigler 1969, 1971;
in that, as a laboratory animal, it has been Bigler and McLean 1973; Bigler et al. 1975).
extremely useful in research laboratories These studies took place between 1965 and
throughout the world. Advancements in 1974 and included animals from 38 of Flori-
many fields of biology and medicine have da's 67 counties. The numbers of rats and
been possible because of this animal (Lowery mice tested varied from 75 to 108 for each
1974). virus. None of the 108 samples from house
Brief reviews of the parasites and diseases mice was positive. The only positive samples
of murids have been provided by Lowery from Rattus were for roof rats, where 9 of
(1974) and Jackson (1982). Doran (1954a, 98 animals were positive for antibodies to
b, 1955a, b) published a comprehensive cata- Everglades virus (Bigler et al. 1975). The ex-
logue of the protozoans and helminths of ro- act locations of these positive animals were
dents in North America. Although these latter not given in the 1975 paper, but in another
lists are now more than 35 years old, they are publication (Bigler 1969) it was stated that
still of value and provide a good introduction 5 of 40 roof rats from Dade County were
to the older literature, seropositive for Everglades virus. This virus is
probably of little or no significance to murid
populations, but along with other species of
II. Viruses rodents these Old World rats may be impor-
tant as reservoirs for this zoonotic virus
Rabies is not common in rodents (Beran (Bigler and McLean 1973).
1981; Burridge et al. 1986) and has not been
diagnosed in commensal rodents in the
United States (Jackson 1982). From 1957 to III. Rickettsial diseases
1983 over 8,000 rats and mice were exam-
ined in Florida for rabies virus (Burridge et Murine typhus is a rickettsial disease of man
al. 1986). All were negative. The species of caused by Rickettsia typhi (Philip 1980).
rats and mice were not given, but it is assumed Commensal rats of the genus Rattus are the
that many of them were Rattus and Mus. primary reservoir host and the oriental rat
Both house mice and Norway rats are suscep- flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) is the principal vec-
tible to rabies as shown by experimental in- tor. Although the disease is seldom fatal
fections (World Health Organization 1973; (Philip 1980), it is prevalent. In the United
Winkler et al. 1972), but appear to play no States 42,000 cases were reported during
role in the epizootiology of rabies in nature 1931-1946 (Harwood and James 1979).
(Beran 1981). Symptoms in man include chills, headache,
Serum samples from house mice, roof rats, fever, and rashes. Even though large doses