Recently acquired ectoparasites
posted January 31st, 2011
In September, following the 2nd Peruvian Mammal Congress, a group of us--headed by Dr. Horacio Zeballos and members of his lab at Univ. San Agustin in Arequipa, headed to the Pacific Coast to sample lomas formations near Atiquipa. During three nights there, we caught representatives of two highly endemic bats restricted to the arid Western Slope of the Andes, the nectar-feeder Platalina and the insect-eating Amorphochilus. They proved to contain three genera of bat flies (blood-sucking ectoparasites that live in the hair and on the flight membranes of bats) not previously represented in the Museum's superb collection of bat flies. These specimens are being studied both morphologically and genetically by my partners in the study of bats and their parasites, Dr Carl Dick (Western Kentucky University) and Dr Katharina Dittmar (SUNY Buffalo).
More photos of the hosts of some of these flies can be found on the ARKive.org site.