Variation in ectoparasite load in the Mehely's horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus mehelyi (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in a nursery colony in western Iran

Acta Parasitol. 2013 Jun;58(2):180-4. doi: 10.2478/s11686-013-0122-1. Epub 2013 May 11.


We studied variation of ectoparasite load in a free ranging populations of Mehely's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi) on five successive occasions in a nursery roost in western Iran. In total, 87 Rhinolophus mehelyi were captured. The patterns of abundance differed greatly among parasite species but total parasite load was markedly higher in pregnant females in spring and early summer and lower in solitary males. On average, 90% of bats were infested by Eyndhovenia sp. with a mean intensity of 13.79 individuals per bat. Penicillidia sp. and one species from Streblidae were found in 66.7% and 11.49% of bats with parasite load of 2.31 and 1.8 parasite per bat, respectively. Using ratio of forearm length to body mass as an indication of bat health the correlation coefficient between parasite load and the health indicator was 0.002 for males and 0.06 for females indicating that parasite load has no apparent impact on bat's health.

MeSH terms

  • Acari / classification*
  • Acari / physiology
  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / classification
  • Chiroptera / parasitology*
  • Diptera / classification*
  • Diptera / physiology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / epidemiology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mite Infestations / epidemiology
  • Mite Infestations / parasitology
  • Mite Infestations / veterinary
  • Parasite Load*
  • Pregnancy
  • Seasons