Parasitic associations of a threatened Sri Lankan rainforest rodent, Mus mayor pococki (Rodentia: Muridae)

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P.B. Ratnaweera
M.R. Wijesinghe
P.V. Udagama-Randeniya


Parasitic investigations of the subspecies Mus mayori pococki were carried out in four rainforests that included two man and biosphere reserves and two forest reserves of Sri Lanka from October 2006 to August 2007. Rodents were live-trapped using Shermans traps. Of the 117 individuals of M. m. pococki captured 73% were infested with four types of ectoparasites mites of the genus Echinolaelaps, a louse Polyplax serrata, a larval stage of hard tick Ixodes and pseudoscorpions of the genus Megachernes. Mites were the most abundant ectoparasite of this rodent host. Faecal examination revealed the presence of a nematode larva of the Order Strongylida and five types of parasitic ova; three nematode ova types i.e. strongyle, strongyloides, ascarid types, and cestode and mite ova. In comparison to the non-infested hosts, those infested did not show a significant difference in body weight and size. Both sexes had an equal probability of being exposed to ectoparasites. The present study on the parasitic investigations of M. m. pococki reports four new host-ectoparasite and six new endoparasitic records for the Sri Lankan rodent host.

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How to Cite
Ratnaweera, P., Wijesinghe, M. and Udagama-Randeniya, P. 2010. Parasitic associations of a threatened Sri Lankan rainforest rodent, Mus mayor pococki (Rodentia: Muridae). Journal of Threatened Taxa. 2, 6 (Jun. 2010), 901–907. DOI:
Author Biographies

P.B. Ratnaweera

Pamoda B. Ratnaweera, as a Zoology major student carried out this study as an off shoot of her final year undergraduate research project at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka under the guidance of Drs. Wijesinghe and Udagama Randeniya. Pamoda has several research communications presented at national and international forums.

M.R. Wijesinghe

Dr. Mayuri R. Wijesinghe is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo. Her field of interest is conservation biology. Her research focuses on the ecology and behaviour of small mammals (including population dynamics, feeding, space utilization) and amphibians, two important components of Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and endemism.

P.V. Udagama-Randeniya

Dr. Preethi V. Udagama-Randeniya is a Professor at the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo. Although she is an Immuno-parasitologist, she has recorded parasites of Sri Lankan murids, bats, elephants, poultry, pigs, reptiles, amphibians, bovids and aquarium fishes. She is the recipient of several local research awards.