Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Bill T. Ridgeway


Five hundred and twenty-two squirrels were trapped and retrapped from a population in Montgomery County, Maryland during 1974-1975. One hundred and forty-one squirrels were found to harbor an average of 10.6 mites (Range 175-1). While male squirrels outnumbered females (79 vs 62) females harbored more mites than males (829 vs 666). During the spring the average number of mites per captured squirrel increased to an average of 18.1 per squirrel. The average declined to 6.8, 4.8 and 3.3 per squirrel in summer, fall and winter respectively. Throughout the collection period adult female mites were by far more numerous on hosts than were adult males and immature stages. Out of the 1,495 total mites collected, 1,331 were adult females, 73 were adult males and 91 were immatures. The infection rates of Hepatozoon griseisciuri among mites examined range from 0% in early and middle fall to 27.5% in early spring. These data suggest that seasonal differences in climate and perhaps shifts in squirrel behavior affect the incidence of Haemogamasus reidi infestations on Gray Squirrels. These factors may also affect the infection rates of Hepatozoon griseisciuri in host mites.