Page 1

TRANSACTIONS RECORDS

OF

BAT

PARASITES

FROM

WEST

SUFFOLK

by GORDON B . THOMPSON

GILBERT and Stebbings (1958) published a very excellent account of the winter roosts of bats in West SufFolk and included details of banding activities carried out during a period 1949-57 on five species of bats. Gilbert (1948 and 1951) gave notes on the bats and recorded many species of ectoparasites. These accounts refer to the bats found in a series of. chalk caves in the grounds of Horringer Court and at the Glen in Eastgate Street, both near Bury St. Edmunds. As a result of my visit to the caves at Horringer Court with Robert Stebbings in March, 1957, a careful examination of the bats handled was carried out whenever possible until March, 1960. Ectoparasites were collected from over forty bats representing six species. All collecting was done during the period October to March of each year, because the bats are completely absent from the caves during the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, virtually nothing is known about the summer roosting places of these bats. Any Information which can be given will be greatly appreciated. The ectoparasite fauna of bats is extremely interesting because of the variety of species found and the parasitic adaptations of some of them. On the bats examined by Robert Stebbings, only Nycteribiidae (wingless parasitic flies), Ixodoidea (ticks) and parasitic mites were encountered. This does not mean fleas were absent, but it is difficult to see and collect them in the dark, damp caves, while recording and banding bats under winter conditions. Nycteribiidae were found only on Daubenton's bat, some tick larvae on a Pipistrelle and mites on practically every bat. The absence of ticks is due to the fact that they spend relatively little time on their hosts and will almost certainly be found in the bats' summer roosts. Fleas should be abundant in the summer roosts since they breed in the dung. One other point of interest is that female Nycteribiidae leave their hosts to deposit puparia and large numbers of these should be found in the summer haunts. There was no evidence of puparia at these winter sites. A number of the females examined were gravid and would probably be ready to deposit their puparia about the time the bats move to the


94

9

H E E E E E H H H E E H H H H G G G G H H H H E E E E H E

9.iii.'57 19.x.'57 19.x.'57 19.x.'57 19.x.*57 31.xii.'57 15.xiii.'58 10.ix.'58 11.ix.'58 18.x.'58 18.x.'58 10.i.'59 14.ii.'59 21.iii.'59 21.iii.'59 5.xii.'59 5.xii.*59 5.xii.'59 5.xii.'59 12.xii.'59 12.xii.'59 23.i.'60 23.i.'60 6.ii.'60 6.ii.'60 6.ii.'60 6.ii.'60 20.ii.'60 2.iii.'60

>

H

9.iii.'57

<?

E H

13.i.'58 18.xii.'59

H

10.i.'59

lc?

E G H

2.iii.'60 5.xii.'59 23.i.'60

lc? —

1 9

H

23.i.'60

lc?

H

23.i.'60

1 9 1 c ?

H

23.i.'60

lc?

T. & M.

IN.) kolenatii

Spinturnix pelcotinus Koch

9 .i i i .' 5 7

Spinturnix myoti (Kolenati)

H

Nvcteribia

<J

i (Kühl)

4/57 147/57 148 / 57 149/57 150/57 1/58 152/58 154/58 155/58 156 /58 157/58 5/59 6/59 7/59 8/59 1 /60 3/60 4/60 5/60 6/60 7/60 10/60 13/60 33/60 34/60 35/60 36/60 37/60 38/60 3 / 5 7 Myotis

nattereri (Kühl) (Natterer's Bat)

2/58 3/59 4 / 5 9 Myotis

Date

2/57 .

Locality

Host «Z

Sex of each adult examined

BAT PARASITES FROM WEST SUFFOLK

mystacinus (Kühl) (Whiskered Bat)

)

c? c? 9 9

$ 9

<? 9 9 t? c?

<? 9 9 9 c?

<? 9 9 c? c? 9

<J

<? 9 c? 9 c?

<? <?

39/60 9 2/60* 9 1 1 / 6 0 Plecotus auritus(L,.) c? ( L o n g eared Bat) j» 12/60 (? 8 / 6 0 Nyctalus noctula (Schreber) <? ( N o c t u l e Bat) 9/60 <? 3 2 / 6 0 f Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schreber) <J (Pipistrelle) (dead)

lc?l

9

191<? lc? 3 9 9 1 c ? 4 9 9 2 ( J ( J +

+

1 9

2c?<?

3 9 9 2 c ? c?

2 9 9 1 c ?

1(5

5 9 9

lc?

l c ? 2 9 9

I N

— —

3 9 9 —

2 9 9 1 < ? 1 9

lc?

lc?

4 9 9

1 9 — 1 9

— —

— —

2 9 9 3 c ? <?+

+

3 9 9 1 c ?

3 9 9 2 < ? i ? +

+

1 9

1 9 lc? 1 9 1 c ?

lc?

1 9 lc? 1 9

2?

— — — —

191c?

1 9

3 9 9

2 9 9

3 9 9

1 B

iii.'öO

H — H o r r i n g e r Cave B — B u r y St. E d m u n d s * 2 / 6 0 flea o n l y . f 3 2 / 6 0 l a r v a e of Argas

E—Eastgate Cave G — T h e Glen vespertilionis (Latr.) only.


95

BAT PARASITES FROM WEST SUFFOLK

summer roosts. In spite of the extreme conditions of low temperature and moisture surrounding the bats in their winter habitat, the parasites manage to survive. None of the ectoparasites recorded below can be claimed as new to West Suffolk, but the collection is an excellent one and every credit is due to Robert Stebbings for the careful way he has carried out the examinations. My sincere and grateful thanks are placed on record here for his co-operation. For considerable help with the identification of the parasitic mites I am deeply indebted to Dr. Winifred M . Till. Referring to the Mesostigmatid mites, the Spinturnicidae are easily distinguished by their star shape. They are ovoviviparous and are usually found towards the base of the wing membranes. The Macronyssus spp. are Dermanyssid mites, primarily parasitic on bats and are most common on the wing membranes. Nycteribiidae normally occur in the body fĂźr but frequently stray on to the wing membranes especially when the bats are being handled.

References

ÂťGilbert, O. 1948. Bats in West Suffolk. Trans. Suff. Nat. Soc. 6,163-165. Gilbert, O. 1951. Mites on bats. Trans. Suff. Nat. Soc. 7, 127. Gilbert, O. 1951. Bats'parasitic Diptera. Trans. Suff. Nat. Soc. 7, 134. Gilbert, O. and Stebbings, R. 1958. Winter roosts of bats in West Suffolk. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 131, 329-333.

*Owen J . IV. Gilbert, M.Sc., Ph.D., Nature Warden at Merlewood,

Member of S.N.S. Lancs.

1946-59,

latterly

Records of Bat Parasites from West Suffolk  
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