Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School


First Advisor

Burruss McDaniel


Geomylichus geomydis n. sp. is an obligate ectoparasite and associated with it on Geomys b. bursarius were large numbers of four other major ectoparasite species and small numbers of eight miscellaneous acarine taxa. Descriptions and measurements of life cycle stages of Geomylichus geomydis n. sp. are given. Geographical and host distribution records are also included. Seasonal population numbers of Geomylichus geomydis n. sp. and the other four major ectoparasite species were analyzed. Infestation rates for G. geomydis n. sp. were determined for seasons of the year and sexes and ages of the host. A least-squares analysis of variance was used to analyze species populations in the three variable categories: seasons of the year, sexes of the host and ages of the host. Significant differences were identified for G. geomydis n. sp. populations in total density/host, population age structure/host and adult sex structure/host. Infestation rates for the other four major species were determined for seasons only. Significant differences in total density/host were identified for three of these species populations. Peak populations of the obligate species and the intermittent species occurred during different seasons. No notable correlations between species densities or between species densities and host size criteria were obtained. The area of the host's body infested by Geomylichus geomydis n. sp. was primarily limited to the lumbar region and the hind legs. Characteristic behavioral activity was exhibited in response to death of the host. Maximum survival time when removed from the host and placed in artificial situations was 120-138 hours. Body weights obtained for the female, male and nymphal stages were 0.007 mg, 0.006 mg and 0.003 mg, respectively.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pocket gophers -- Parasites



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Entomology Commons