Published in Parasite, Vol. 21 No. 4 (2014) at DOI: 10.1051/parasite/2014005


A total of 6257 helminths of 19 taxa were recovered from the digestive tract and lungs of 67 bobcats in Illinois. Infections caused by Alaria mustelae, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Macracanthorhynchus ingens are reported for the first time in bobcats. From all the taxa recovered, only three species occurred in high prevalence and caused intense infections: Taenia rileyi, Alaria marcianae, and Toxocara cati, with prevalence and mean intensity of 70% and 6; 42% and 193, and 25% and 14 individuals, respectively. Prevalence lower than 15% of 14 helminth species suggests bobcats are not continuously exposed to infective stages of a single parasite, and may be exposed to a large variety of generalists during their lifespan. No significant difference in parasite species according to host sex or age was detected, except for Diphyllobothrium spp., which were found more frequently in females and in trapped bobcats, and the hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, which infected juveniles more frequently. Average species richness per infracommunity was 2.4 (±1.2), and the parasite component community showed low qualitative similarity with neighbor communities. The taxa A. caninum, Alaria spp., Diphyllobothrium spp., Paragonimus kellicotti, and T. cati are etiological agents of epizootic and zoonotic diseases.