V. P. Starikov

Ectoparasites of a steppe lemming Lagurus lagurus Pallas, 1773 in the South Trans-Ural region (Kurgan oblast) in connection with the natural foci of tularemia


Steppe lemming of the South Trans-Ural region is a rare species of open spaces. To the north, its distribution is limited to the subzone of herb-bunchgrass steppes and the southern strip of the for-est-steppe subzone. The presented work summarizes the material, which gives the full species composition of the parasitic arthropods of this rodent and gives quantitative characteristics of ectoparasites. In total 155 individuals and one nest of the steppe, lemming were examined for ectoparasites. There are 808 parasitic arthropods of 20 species, including 14 species of gamasid mites, 2 species of ixodid ticks, and 4 species (subspecies) of fleas. According to the number of individuals of ectoparasites feeding on the steppe lemming, the dominance of gamasid mites is strongly pronounced, both prevailing multi-host species and specific, typical for other rodents (gray and red-backed voles, northern mole vole, Eurasian water vole, northern birch mouse). The contribution of ixodid ticks and fleas to the parasite fauna of the steppe lemming is small. Steppe lemming can be involved in circulation of a causative agent of tularemia in the South Trans-Ural region, but as an additional carrier in maintenance of a foci in biotopes, where it contacts the habitats of the Eurasian water vole.

About the autors:

Starikov Vladimir Pavlovich, SPIN-code: 1145-0837, Dr. habil., Surgut State University, Surgut, Russia, vp_starikov@mail.ru

Place of employment:


Key words:

steppe lemming; gamasid mites; ixodid ticks; fleas; the South Trans-Ural region; tularemia.