Fleas and lice on scrub hares (Lepus saxatilis) in South Africa

20 Jan 2014

A total of 380 scrub hares (Lepus saxatilis) from 5 localities, ranging from the north-eastern Transvaal to the eastern and the south-western Cape Province of South Africa, were examined for fleas and lice. Ctenocephalides felis damarensis was almost exclusively responsible for the flea infestations on hares at 4 of the 5 sites. At 4 localities the prevalence and abundance of this flea reached peaks between August and October and declined thereafter to their lowest levels between February and April. Its prevalence and abundance in the north-eastern Transvaal were not correlated with the breeding cycle of the hares in this region. The 2 louse species recovered, sometimes sympatrically, were Haemodipsus lyriocephalus and Haemodipsus setoni. Listrophorus leporicolus was the only mite species recovered.