Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date



The wild lagomorpha of North America have in the past been the subject of numerous parasitological examinations. Many of these surveys have been performed on cottontail rabbits, while comparatively fewer studies have been done on the jack rabbits. In South Dakota, parasite surveys have yet to be. completed on both cottontail rabbits and jack rabbits. The representatives of the Leporidae found in South Dakota are the white-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus townsendii campanius), the black tailed jack rabbit (Lepus californicus melanotis), the eastern cottontail rabbits Sylvilagus floridanus similis and Sylvilagus floridanus mearnsii), the desert cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus audubonii baileyi) and the Black Hills cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus nuttalli granger). The species examined for parasites in this study however, included only Lepus townsendii campanius, Sylvilagus floridanus similis and Sylvilagus audubonii baileyi. Since the parasites of hares and rabbits have never been studied in South Dakota, this study will present data on the subject. The objectives of this research were as follows: 1) To determine the species of parasites and their incidence in the three lagomorph species studied. 2) To determine the distribution of each parasite species found in South Dakota lagomorpha. 3) To summarize the data concerning parasites of other areas in relation to the parasites found in South Dakota. During this study 35 white-tailed jack rabbits, 18 eastern cottontail rabbits and one desert cottontail rabbit were examined for parasites. All lagomorphs were shot with either a 12-guage shotgun or a 22 caliber rifle between October 13, 1982, and June 10, 1983. The distribution of lagomorpha examined in this study is illustrated in Map I. When killed, the lagomorpha were usually placed in white plastic bags to prevent the escape of ectoparasites. Specimens were necropsied as soon after death as possible or frozen until adequate time was available for their dissection.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rabbits -- Parasites

Rabbits -- Parasites -- South Dakota

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University