Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Elmer Finck
Working with other graduate students on a grant given to Fort Hays State University, from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, I looked at presence and species of ectoparasites on bat species. The main goal of our grant was to quantify and qualify the status of the northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) in the state of Kansas, and to record data on any bycatch. I worked on our grant in the summer field seasons of 2016 and 2017, May to October, as described by the Indiana bat protocol.
Bats were captured by using mist nets set over ponds, small streams, and rivers in northcentral Kansas. I chose sites by using a combination of historical and acoustic data. I mist netted 61 nights in the field season of 2016, and 47 nights in the field season of 2017.
Over the field seasons of 2016 and 2017, I captured the following bat species: Eptesicus fuscus, Lasiurus borealis, Lasiurus cinereus, Myotis septentrionalis, Nycticeius humeralis, and Perimyotis subflavus. Only the evening bat, N. humeralis, was captured in numbers large enough to run statistical analyses. I compared the presence of ectoparasites between adults and juveniles, males and females, male reproductive status, and female reproductive status. When compared, adults had a significantly lower presence of ectoparasites than juveniles did (X2 = 47.38, d.f. = 3, p = 0.00001). Only 33% of adult N. humeralis had ectoparasites, while 76% of juveniles had ectoparasites. Males had 72% ectoparasite presence while females only had 41% ectoparasite presence (X2 = 15.03, d.f. = 3, p = 0.01792). When males were compared based on their reproductive status there was no statistically significant difference in rates of ectoparasite presence (X2 = 2.11, d.f. = 3, p = 0.549328). Reproductive males had 62% ectoparasite presence and non-reproductive males had 82% ectoparasite presence. Female reproductive status was split into four separate categories; pregnant, lactating, post-lactating, and non-reproductive. Pregnant females had 24% ectoparasite presence, lactating females had 40% ectoparasite presence, and post-lactating and non-reproductive females both had 46% ectoparasite presence (X2 = 7.42, d.f. = 7, p = 0.38622). Of the ectoparasites collected on N. humeralis, 82% were mites, 13% were cimicids, 0.15% were chewing lice, and 5% were unable to be identified.
Schumann, Elizabeth, "Ectoparasite Presence in Select Northcentral Kansas Bat Species" (2019). Master's Theses. 3143.
© 2019 Elizabeth Marie Schumann