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Additional occurrence of the filarioid nematode, Litomosoides westi, in Geomys spp. in Texas.

Filarioid nematodes of the genus Litomosoides have been reported to occur in species of several genera of mammals in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions (Burnham 1953; West 1962; Forrester & Kinsella 1973; Gardner & Schmidt 1986). Litomosoides thomomydis occurs in disjunct populations within the range of the pocket gopher, Thomomys talpoides, in southern Colorado (Miller & Ward 1960). Litomosoides westi has been reported in both Geomys bursarius of the Great Plains region and T. bottae from the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (Gardner 1983; Gardner & Schmidt 1986). In Texas L. westi has only been reported from G. personatus from Duval and Zapata counties (Pitts et al. 1990).

Specimens of G. breviceps and G. bursarius examined during this study are deposited in the Sternberg Museum of Natural History (MHP) at Fort Hays State University. Specimens of L. westi from host gophers were stored in vials with glycerin and are deposited as voucher specimens (97-P7) in the Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A & M University.

While collecting Geomys breviceps and G. bursarius in Denton County, Texas nematodes identified as L. westi were collected from the pleural cavities of an adult male (MHP 33365) and an adult female (MHP 33366) G. breviceps, at the entrance of Isle Du Boris Unit, Lake Ray Roberts State Park. Additional L. westi were found in the pleural cavities of three adult G. bursarius, two males (MHP 33444, 33445) and one female (MHP 33457) 1.6 mi NW of Aubrey, Grubbs Road. The pocket gophers were captured using Victor gopher traps. The dead pocket gophers were immediately necropsied, to obtain tissue samples for karyotyping. The filarioid nematodes were collected from the pleural cavities using forceps. They were placed in vials with 70% ethanol. The vials were labeled with the host field catalogue number and shipped to Texas A & M University for identification. The filarioid nematodes were identical to those described by West (1962). This is the first record of L. westi from G. breviceps and the first reported occurrence of L. westi from G. bursarius in Texas. These records also fill in the range gap from southern Texas to the southern foothills of Colorado for L. westi.


Burnham, G. L. 1953. A study of the helminth parasites of the pocket gophers of Woods, Alfalfa, Grant, and Marshall counties, Oklahoma. Proc. Oklahoma Acad. Sci., 34:59-61.

Forrester, J. D. & J. M. Kinsella. 1973. Comparative morphology and ecology of two species of Litomosoides (Nematoda, Filarioidea) of rodents in Florida, with a key to the species of Litomosoides Chandler, 1931. Internat. J. Parasit., 3:236-255.

Gardner, S. L. 1983. Endoparasites of western North American pocket gophers. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Univ. Northern Colorado, Greeley, 167 pp.

Gardner, S. L. & G. D. Schmidt. 1986. Two new species of Litomosoides Nematoda: (Onchocereidae) form pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyidae) in Colorado. Syst. Parasit., 8:623-627.

Miller, R. S. & R. A. Ward. 1960. Ectoparasites of pocket gophers from Colorado. Amer. Midland Nat., 64:382-391.

Pitts, R. M., S. L. Gardner, M. J. Smolen & T. M. Craig. 1990. First reported Occurrence of the filarioid nematode, Litomosoides westi, in Geomys personatus. Texas J. Sci., 42(4):416.

West, R. W. 1962. Filariae of pocket gophers from Colorado. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, 33 pp.

Richard M. Pitts, Norman O. Dronen and John W. Bickham

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas 77843

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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:Pitts, Richard M.; Dronen, Norman O.; Bickham, John W.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Feb 1, 2000
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