Protospirura numidica (Seurat 1914) can be found inhabiting the stomach or lower esophagus of the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus as well as other small rodents that are commonly found in the Great Basin Desert in Utah including: Ord’s kangaroo rat, western harvest mouse, Great Basin pocket mouse, and the piñon mouse (Grundmann and Frandsen 1960). P. numidica has a complex lifecycle and requires passage through a beetle (Cook and Grundmann 1964). Interestingly, there is an increase in parasite prevalence in the fall in deer mice, likely due to the increase in insect consumption by the definitive host. A mean of 4 nematodes per host is common, however, I found up to 50 individual nematodes in a single deer mouse stomach. Talk about digestion issues…de-wormer please?
Contributed by Craig Gritzen.