oa African Zoology - Quantitative and qualitative aspects of the parasite burdens of rock dassies (Procavia capensis Pallas, 1766) in the Mountain Zebra National Park

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Seasonal variation in the densities of parasites of dassies and variation in these densities between sexes were determined. Female dassies showed significant seasonal differences in tick and biting lice densities. In comparison with males, female dassies had significantly higher densities of biting lice during the summer. With the exception of biting lice, juveniles had significantly higher ectoparasite densities than adults when compared on a monthly basis. No significant seasonal differences in endoparasite densities for the different sexes were evident. In comparison with the endoparasite densities of adults and sub-adults, juveniles had significantly higher densities of Crossophorus collaris and Nouvelnema cyclophoron. Seasonal variation in parasitic densities between the sexes is interpreted in terms of the physiological condition and social organization of dassies.

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