The Reptile Associates of Wood Rats and Cone-Nosed Bugs
Wood, Sherwin F.
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The search for insect and mammal vectors of Chagas' disease or American human trypanosomiasis in the southwestern United States has brought the writer into contact with some interesting reptiles. Wood rat houses evidently furnish a good retreat for many forms as well as a food supply since they harbor many kinds of insects and arachnids. Not all of the reptiles seen in the course of tearing down houses of wood rats (Neotoma spp. ) were captured as the writer was frequently too busy collecting cone-nosed bugs (Triatoma spp.) to chase a lizard or snake that escaped from the pile of twigs, sticks, cactus pads, cow chips, etc. Furthermore, the presence of catclaw and mesquite stems, cactus pads and loose spines renders the grabbing technique hazardous at times. The writer and his assistants have carefully searched over 548 wood rat houses throughout the Southwest.