Mike P. Lyons

Date of Award


Document Type



Biological Science

First Advisor

James Abram

Second Advisor

Sarah N. Thomas

Third Advisor

Reuben Manning


The muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus. is a large member of the Order Rodentia and regarded as the United States' most important fur bearing mammal (Abram, 19 69) . Helminths, or parasitic worms, include amongst its members: trematodes (flukes), cestodes (tape worms) and nematodes (round worms). Parasite surveys based on geography and subspecies of the host, Ondatra zibethicus. have pieced together information gaps based on these criteria and enabled investigators to construct an overall picture of helminth parasites in the United States and elsewhere.

The question of helminths in representative host species can be addressed either through necropsy examinations or through literature surveys. Literature surveys can provide adequate insight into parasite distribution and is applicable in this investigation. Thus, the approach here is a literature review of helminths of muskrats. The notable criteria in formulating this study are an exhaustive literature search, description of muskrat habitats, and revelation of parasite burden in eight states and four foreign countries. The approach to this project essentially is evaluating the variation in helminth kind and burden. The supporting 1 2 literature suggests a fairly wide variation in the kinds of species given the ecological factors that would impact on this study.