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First Reports of Ectoparasites Collected from Wild-Caught Exotic Reptiles in Florida

Corn, Joseph L., Mertins, James W., Hanson, Britta, Snow, Skip
Journal of medical entomology 2011 v.48 no.1 pp. 94-100
Amblyomma rotundatum, Eutrombicula, Hemidactylus, Iguana iguana, Python molurus, Python regius, Varanus, chiggers, host-parasite relationships, lizards, savannas, ticks, tropics, Florida
We collected ectoparasites from 27 of 51 wild-caught, free-ranging exotic reptiles examined in Florida from 2003 to 2008. Sampled animals represented eight species, five of which yielded ectoparasites. Reported new parasite distribution records for the United States include the following: the first collection of the African tick Amblyomma latum (Koch) from a wild-caught animal [ball python, Python regius (Shaw) ] in the United States; the first collection of the lizard scale mite Hirstiella stamii (Jack) from any wild-caught animal [green iguana, Iguana iguana (L.) ] ; and the first collection of the lizard scale mite Geckobia hemidactyli (Lawrence) in the continental United States from a wild-caught tropical house gecko, Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonnès). We also report the first collections of the Neotropical ticks Amblyomma rotundatum (Koch) and Amblyomma dissimile (Koch) from wild-caught Burmese pythons, Python molurus bivittatus (Kuhl); the first collections of A. dissimile from a wild-caught African savannah monitor, Varanus exanthematicus (Bosc); and from wild-caught green iguanas in the United States; and the first collections of the native chiggers Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing) from wild-caught Burmese pythons. These reports may only suggest the diversity of reptile ectoparasites introduced and established in Florida and the new host-parasite relationships that have developed among exotic and native ectoparasites and established exotic reptiles.