Macracanthorhynchus ingens from raccoons in Maryland
Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington
- Carlton M. Herman
There have been very few published records of the occurrence of the acanthocephalan parasite Macracanthorhynchus ingens (von Linstow, 1897) in North America. Chandler (1942) and Moore (1946) reported 11 o 13 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in Angelina County, Texas, infected with these intestinal parasites. From 1 to 90 worms occurred in these animals. Chandler and Melvin (1951), in a study of parasites collected from mammals in Pennsylvania, reported M. ingens common in its usual host, the raccoon, and also found immature worms believed to belong to this species in skunk, Mephitis nigra; mink, Mustela vision; fox, Urocyon cineraoargenteus; and mole, Parascalops breweri. Van Cleave (1953), in a review of North American Acanthocephala, lists the definitive host as raccoon of the States of Texas and Pennsylvania. He further states: “It is thought that the apparent discontinuous distribution of M. ingens is due to incomplete records of its occurrence in intervening states.” Subsequently, Goldberg (1954) reported 5 specimens of M. ingens in one of 14 skunks from Beltsville, Md.
This parasite appears to be fairly common in raccoons from Maryland, as indicated by material from two stations in the State. Of 44 intestinal tracts collected during the winter months, 1943-1946, at the Patuxent Research Refuge, laurel, Maryland, 22 (50%) contained M. ingens in their intestines (Ediger, 1950). Numbers of these parasites per host varied from 1 to 125. Since then, additional raccoons from the Patuxent Research refuge have been found infected with M. ingens.
The parasite has also been noted in raccoons collected from the Blackwater National Wildlife refuge and surrounding areas, near Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland. One raccoon obtained in May, 1950, contained five specimens of M. ingens. In a series of raccoons obtained by V.T. Harris, during the winter months 1950-1951, 32 (37%) of 86 raccoons examined were infected with M. ingens. Intensity varied from 1 to 44 worms per raccoon.
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- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- Journal Article
- Macracanthorhynchus ingens from raccoons in Maryland
- Series title:
- Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington
- Year Published:
- Helminthological Society of Washington
- Contributing office(s):
- Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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- United States