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Reduced helminth parasitism in the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus): More parasites lost than gained

Loxton, Karen C., Lawton, Colin, Stafford, Peter, Holland, Celia V.
International journal for parasitology 2016 v.5 no.2 pp. 175-183
Apodemus sylvaticus, Aspiculuris, Clethrionomys glareolus, Taenia, adults, fauna, helminths, hosts, introduced species, larvae, parasitism, rodents, Ireland
Introduced species are often less parasitised compared to their native counterparts and to ecologically similar hosts in the new environment. Reduced parasitism may come about due to both the loss of original parasites and low acquisition of novel parasites. In this study we investigated the intestinal helminth parasites of the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland. Results were compared to data from other European studies and to the intestinal helminth fauna of an ecologically similar native rodent in Ireland, the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). The helminth fauna of introduced bank voles exhibited low diversity with only 3 species recovered: Aspiculuris tianjinensis; Aonchotheca murissylvatici and Taenia martis larvae. In particular, no adult parasites with indirect life-cycles were found in bank voles suggesting that indirectly transmitted parasites are less likely to establish in invasive hosts. Also, the results of this study add support to the enemy release hypothesis.