The presence of parasitic mites on small mammals in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Colleen B. Bobbie, Elliott Schmidt, Janet E Foley, Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Here we identify, for the first time, a generalist orange parasitic mite found on multiple small-mammal species in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Results from 18S rRNA sequencing suggest that these mites may belong to the family Trombiculidae (Acari: Trombidiformes), although morphological and additional genetic analyses are needed to confirm this identification. The presence of these mites was associated with lower body condition in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Erxleben, 1777)), suggesting that these mites may be a detriment to fitness in small mammals or are more successful when targeting individuals in poorer condition. A lack of sex-biased host infection, emergence dates outside of the host reproductive season, and stability of mite prevalence across study years indicate mite population dynamics may be driven predominantly by factors external from host status, such as climatic conditions or habitat preference. Future research should focus on providing additional reliable identification of these mites, as well as broadening our knowledge on their range, pathogenicity, and impact on small-mammal community dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Body condition
  • Mite
  • Parasitism
  • Red squirrel
  • Small mammal
  • Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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