Parasite Collection

The parasite collection was formally established in 2016 and grew out of a concerted effort to survey and collect parasites from every vertebrate specimen deposited into the Museum’s bird, amphibian and reptile, and mammal collections. The collection consists of about 7,500 specimens or specimen lots mostly housed in small vials (70%–95% ethanol, stored at -20°C) and several hundred fleas and lice mounted on slides. To date, approximately 1,300 specimens or specimen lots have been cataloged, of which 1,000+ are currently available in Arctos and also through GBIF, iDigBio, BISON, and GenBank. The geographic focus of the collection parallels that of the vertebrate hosts across western North America. Taxonomic coverage includes ectoparasites such as insects (fleas, lice, streblids, and oestrids), arachnids (ticks and mites), and endoparasites, including representation from Nematoda and Cestoda. Many of the sucking lice, fleas, and nematodes have been identified to species-level by experts and are captured in recent peer-reviewed publications (Google Scholar).

Staff

John R. Demboski, PhD

Senior Curator of Mammals and Director of Zoology and Health Sciences

Jeffrey T. Stephenson

Zoology Collections Manager

Andrew Doll, MS

Zoology Assistant Collections Manager

Courtney J. Scheskie, MA

Business Support Specialist

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