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LAGOMORPHA (HARES and RABBITS)
FAMILY LEPORIDAE PoÉLACUS MARJORITA OWENI Setzer, 1956. Owen's Grass Rabbit (or Hare).
A number of specimens of this strange and highly localized grass rabbit from the Katire area were free of ticks but two individuals taken during the rainy season at Magwe yielded a male and female R. Eravus and 31 exceptionally heavily punctate
adult R. s. sanguineus.
Ticks from these hares at Ikoto included a nymph of R. s. simus, ten female R. arnoldi, nineteen adult R. pravus and a male H. leachii muhsami. A hare from Nagichot, at eet elevation in the Didinga Mountains, bore two female R. s. sanguineus. These hares are common in elevations somewhat above the average of the plains of Torit District.
LEPUS VICTORIAE MICRCTIS Heuglin, 1865. Victoria Hare.
Victoria hares, frequently tick infested, are common in the savannah from Torit to Juba. The only immature tick found was a nymph of R. s. simus at Torit during the dry season. Many were attacked by moderate numbers of adults of R. s. sanguineus, fewer by R. pravus, and one by Ixodes rasus 7 subspecies.
LEPUS CAPENSIS SUBSP.
infested by all stages of R. pravus and by two nymphs of A.
variegatum and one female H. #: muhsami.
Hosts from various sources were infested by adult R. s.
The paucity of tick specimens from Equatoria Province rodents is of particular interest since several thousand savannah-inhabiting rodents were examined under conditions most likely to retain ectoparasites and reveal them after sacrificing the animals. Many rodents found to be infested in Equatoria Province are from the limited collections from mountains and high altitude forests, riparian brush and forests, and stands of trees and shrubs in and about villages. In other parts of East Africa, findings have been similar relative to rate and type of infestation of rodents. Although African rodents are generally reputed to harbor numerous ticks, it appears evident that a large number of savannah species do not conform with this generalization. The ubiquitous field rodents such as Arvicanthis and Lemniscomys are frequently parasitized by the nest-inhabiting immature stages of H. l. leachii and R. s. simus but seldom by other ticks. -
Theiler's (19490) observations in South Africa are similar. She reports: "It has always been taken for granted that the numerous species of our field mice serve to feed the immature stages of all those ticks of which the adults only are to be found on our domestic stock. Thus far the tick survey, in itself still very incomplete, does not bear out this assumption. Our field mice are extraordinarily free of parasites - as I know from personal trapping experience and as Dr. Roberts and Mr. Davis will bear me out. The numbers present on individual mice, and on the mouse population in general, in no way correspond with the number of adults found on the large herbivores and carnivores".
It is significant that in desert and semidesert areas from northern Africa to the Far East where Hyalomma and Ornithodoros ticks are common, rodents are the most important hosts of immature stages of both genera and also of adult Ornithodoros.
HELIOSCIURUS GAMBIANUS HOOCSIRAALI Setzer, l954. Hoogstraal's
Ticks are rare on tree squirrels and the two male R. s. sangineus on hosts at Ikoto and Torit were taken in close proximity of villages.
EUXERUS ERYTHROPUS LEUCOUMBRINUS (Rüppell, 1835). Light-sided Ground Squirrel.
All stages of the specific parasite of ground squirrels, H. houyi, infest a good proportion of these common animals on the east bank of Equatoria Province. Specimens were taken during the dry season at Kapoeta, Torit, and Latome. Six nymphs of A. variegatum were also found on a ground squirrel at Torit. *
EUXERUS ERYTHROPUS 7LACUSTRIS (Thomas, 1905).
A specimen examined at Yei was infested by a nymph and a male H. houyi.
*: BENVENUTA BENVENUTA (Hinton and Kershaw, 1920). Benvenuta atera.
Tatera gerbils, although numerous in the Torit vicinity, yielded only fifteen nymphs of R. s. simus and two of H. l. ?leachii. Two burrows of these animals yielded eleven nymphs, four females, and five males of the former species. The adult ticks were unengorged.
TATERILLUS EMINIEMINI (Thomas, 1892). Emin's Lesser Tatera.
These are about as common as the Benvenuta Tatera but no ticks were found on them. Approximately a hundred of each of these tateras were examined.
GRAMMOMYS MACMILLANI ERYTHROPYGUS Setzer, 1956. Red-rumped
Upwards of seventy arboreal rats examined in and around Torit
were not infested, however, a nymph tentatively identified as A. cohaerens was taken on a host at Obbo.
ARVICANTHIS NILOTICUS JEBELAE Heller, 1911. Southeastern Sudan
Large numbers of this rodent, possibly the most common one in Torit and Juba Districts, yielded only a few nymphs of H. l. ?leachii and R. s. simus. However, burrows examined during the dry season at Juba and Torit were inhabited by fairly large numbers of nymphs and recently molted, unfed adults of the same tick species.
LEMNISCOMYS MACCULUS MACCULUS (Thomas and Wroughton, 1910). Striped Grass Mouse.
Four nymphal R. s. simus were taken from this uncommon mouse at Torit.
LEMNISCOMYS STRIATUS MASSAICUS (Pagenstecker, 1855). Masai Striped Grass Mouse.
The Masai striped grass mouse is exceedingly common in eastern Equatoria Province and many were examined. A small number of immatures of R. s. simus were found on a few grass mice and in the nests of others. A nymphal H. aciculifer was also taken on a grass mouse at Torit.
MASTOMYS NATALENSIS ISMAILIAE (Heller, 1914). Ismailia Multimammate Rat.
Two multimammate rats infested by a few nymphs of Ixodes nairobiensis were found at Torit and in Lotti Forest. This tick was not found on other mammals in the Sudan. At Torit and Ikoto two hosts yielded a few immature R. s. simus. Over a hundred other multimammate rats examined in Torit, Juba, and Eastern Districts were free of ticks.
PRACMYS TULLBERGISUDANENSIS Setzer, 1956. Lotti Forest Soft-furred Rat.
This rat inhabits higher altitudes of Torit District. Four specimens in Lotti Forest were infested by a few immature ticks representing H. aciculifer, H. l. ?leachii, R. s. simus, and R. ?arnoldi. No"ticks were found on twenty-two other specimens in Lotti Forest.
ACOMYS HYSTRELLA Heller, 1911. Nimule Spiny Mouse.
Many spiny mice representing various species and subspecies were unsuccessfully examined in eastern Equatoria but at Nimule eight specimens of A. hystrella yielded a few immatures of A. brumpti and H. l. .#
It is interesting to note that no dormice, which are common in village trees, huts, and houses in Torit District, were infested by ticks.
FAMILY THRYONOMYIDAE *MARSH RAT".
Several adults of R. simpsoni, the specific parasite of cane rats, also known as marsh rats or edible rats, from Yei are present in Sudan Government collections.
THRYONOMYS GREGORIANUS SUBSP. Cane Rat.
A single male R. simpsoni was found on a cane rat at Torit. The few other cane rats examined there were brought in dead by tribespeople, which may have accounted for the absence of ticks on them.
Infestation density ranging from light to fairly heavy but representing only a very limited number of tick species and subspecies is a feature of carnivores in Equatoria Province and in most of East Africa and southern Africa. In West Africa the variety of carnivore infesting ticks is frequently somewhat greater.