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Prevalence of larvae of the bot fly Cuterebra simulans Diptera, Oestridae on Gracilinanus microtarsus Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae in southeastern Cerrado from Brazil. The prevalence of Cuterebra simulans bot fly parasitism on marsupial Gracilinanus microtarsus was compared between sexes and seasons of the year. No significant difference was observed between females and males but prevalence was higher in warm-wet season than cool-dry season.

This pattern agree with observations of others studies with oestrids flies in southern Neotropical areas, suggesting the occurrence of latitudinal change in the peak of bot flies reproductive activity related to seasons of the year along these systems.

This is the first record of C. Keywords: Bot fly; myiasis; opossum; parasitism. Bot flies of the genus Cuterebra are restricted to the New World and are distributed throughout most of the temperate and tropical areas.

Their larvae are obligatory parasites of mammals, producing myiasis in dermic and subdermic tissues of these animals Catts ; Pape There is almost 70 species of Cuterebra and these flies are one of the most highly studied groups of insect parasites of New World wild mammals Slansky However, the knowledge available on the ecology and natural history of most species comes from studies carried out in temperate regions e. In the Neotropical region, the studies concerning the prevalence and dynamics of bot fly larval parasitism in wild mammals are scarce and have been carried out mainly with rodents.

These studies have showed higher prevalence of bot fly larval parasitism in warm-wet season of the year, although few longitudinal studies demonstrate that such flies may be multivoltine Bergallo et al. The gracile mouse opossum Gracilinanus microtarsus Wagner, is a small g , solitary, arboreal, nocturnal, and insectivorous marsupial commonly found in the Atlantic rainforest and forested physiognomies interspersed in savannas in the Cerrado biome.

This species shows sexual size dimorphism with adult males being larger than adult females, and has a markedly seasonal pattern of reproduction occurring in the warm-wet season when males competing for access to females Costa et al.

Males and females may differ in prevalence of parasites due to fundamental biological differences between sexes. On the other hand, females may increase their home range areas to found more food due to increase energetic requirements associated with pregnancy and lactation that may increase their probabilities of being infested for parasites Krasnov et al. Since the studies in the Neotropical have showed high seasonality in the prevalence of parasitism by Cuterebra larvae and that biological differences between hosts sexes may affect parasitism, the aim of our study was to investigate the differential prevalence of the bot flies larvae parasitism between sexes and seasons of the year on G.

The climate of the region has two well-defined seasons: a warm-wet season from October to March when the temperature varies of The individuals of the G. We set an 11 x 11 trapping grid with trapping-stations located 15 m from each other. We visually examined all the individuals to record the occurrence or absence of the bot flies larvae parasitism and the number of the larvae in each host. Some parasitized individuals were kept at the laboratory to allow natural emergence of the bot flies larvae.

After emergence the pupae were maintained buried in moist sand in gauzed-covered glass cups at ambient temperature until adult flies emerged pupariation lasted 30 to 32 days.

Three adult bot flies emerged and they were identified as Cuterebra simulans Austen, The prevalence of bot flies larvae parasitism of the C. We captured 78 individuals of the G. The prevalence of bot flies larvae parasitism in females was 0. The number of the bot flies larvae in each host varied of 1 to 5. Some individuals showed repeated infestations by larvae of the C.

Thus, the prevalence in each season was estimated by the number of times that one individual became infested for parasites. In all study, ninety-four events of G. The prevalence of bot flies larvae parasitism in warm-wet season was 0. Some studies carried out in Neotropical systems have showed a sex-biased larvae parasitism of the oestrids bot flies in rodents with males more infested than females Bergallo et al.

Our results did not show differences in the parasitism prevalence of the C. Therefore, other factors related to the biology of the oestrids bot flies may explain our results. First, female bot flies oviposit on habitat substrates close to the host higher activity areas e. Second, flies of the Oestrid family undergo long periods of association with their natural hosts and have evolved a complexity of the mechanisms by which larvae down regulate host immune system Otranto ; Stevens et al.

Thus, although males were more susceptible to parasites than females because they were under control of hormones that negatively affect the immune system, C. The neotropical oestrids bot flies seem to be multivoltine, but the season of the peak of reproductive activity varies widely between the regions.

In the northern Neotropical, the highest bot flies larvae parasitism prevalence occurs in dry season Milton ; Manrique-Saide et al. In Cerrado of the Central Brazil, the peak of prevalence of bot flies larvae parasitism appears to be not related to seasonal changes Vieira whereas in Atlantic rainforest the highest bot flies larvae parasitism prevalence occurs on warm-wet season Bossi and Bergallo ; Bergallo et al.

Although our study has been carried out in Cerrado, the prevalence was higher in the warm-wet season, coinciding with others areas of the southeastern of Brazil and with others southern Neotropical areas. Thus, seem to occur a latitudinal change in the peak of bot flies reproductive activity related to the seasons along these systems but more studies are necessary to reinforce or to refute this hypothesis.

The biology of the C. The only knowledge about this fly species was restricted to its description, type-localities and respective original hosts. This present study suggests an expansion of C. Adler, G. Bots Diptera: Oestridae infesting a neotropical forest rodent, Proechimys semispinosus Rodentia: Echimyidae , in Panama. Journal of Parasitology Alcock, J.

Long-term stability in the mating system of the bot fly Cuterebra austeni Cuterebridae. Journal of Insect Behavior Bergallo, H. Martins-Hatano; J. The effect of botfly parasitism of Metacuterebra apicalis Diptera on reproduction, survival and general health of Oryzomys russatus Rodentia , in southeastern Brazil. Mammalia Bossi, D.

Parasitism by cuterebrid botflies Metacuterebra apicalis in Oryzomys nitidus Rodentia: Cricetidae and Metachirus nudicaudatus Marsupialia: Didelphidae in a southeastern Brazilian rain forest. Brigada, A. Cuterebrid parasitism Rogenhofera bonaerensis on the shurbland mouse Akodon molinae , in Argentina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases Bush, A. Lafferty; J. Parasitology meets ecology on its own terms: Margolis et al. Catts, E. Biology of New World bot flies: Cuterebridae.

Annual Review of Entomology Costa, L. Phylogeography and systematic notes on two species of gracile mouse opossums, genus Gracilinanus Marsupialia: Didelphidae from Brazil.

Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington Eisenberg, J. Mammals of the Neotropics , Vol. Fernandes, F. Fonseca, F. Revista de Entomologia, Rio de Janeiro Notes on the hosts of neotropical cuterebrini Diptera: Cuterebridae with new records from Brazil. Myiasis in man and animals in the Neotropical region. Jaffe, G. Zegers; M. Long-term patterns of botfly parasitism in Peromyscus maniculatus , P. Journal of Mammalogy Krasnov, B.

Monrad; H. Hawlena; I. Sex-biased parasitism, seasonality and sexual size dimorphism in desert rodents. Oecologia Manrique-Saide, P. Florida Entomologist Martins, E. Bonato; C. Seasonality in reproduction, age structure and density of the gracile mouse opossum Gracilinanus microtarsus Marsupialia: Didelphidae in a Brazilian cerrado.

Journal of Tropical Ecology Milton, K. Effects of bot fly Alouattamyia baeri parasitism on free-ranging howler monkey Alouatta palliata population in Panama. Journal of Zoology Parasitism, host immune function, and sexual selection. Quarterly Review of Biology Oliveira-Filho, A. Vegetation physiognomies and woody flora of the Cerrado Biome, p.








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