Wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)) populations in a high rainfall area of Victoria, Australia.
A study of wild rabbit sub-populations in an area of north-eastern Victoria, Australia, with an annual rainfall of 1000 mm included examination of 41 skins for ectoparasites. The 3 common ectoparasites of rabbit in south-eastern Australia, the mites Leporacarus gibbus (Pgst.) and Cheyletiella parasitivorax (Megn.) and the louse Haemadipsus ventricosus (Denny) were found. L. gibbus was on every rabbit examined, with infestations of up to 1600 mites. C. parasitivorax was found on 38 rabbits, but never in large numbers. There was no evidence of significant variation in numbers of either mite species with environment. H. ventricosus occurred on 21 rabbits, at up to 12 individuals/rabbit. Infestation was more frequent on rabbits from forest clearings (76%) than on those from farmland (30%).