*Ecology Division, DSIR, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
The effects of the nematode parasite Skrjabingylus nasicola on British weasels (Mustela nivalis)
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 182, Issue 2, pages 225–249, June 1977
How to Cite
King, C. M. (1977), The effects of the nematode parasite Skrjabingylus nasicola on British weasels (Mustela nivalis). Journal of Zoology, 182: 225–249. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1977.tb04157.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 8 September 1976
Adult worms of Skrjabingylus nasicola are found in the nasal sinuses of mustelids, and when numerous may cause considerable distortion of the frontal bones. A heavy infestation is commonly assumed to be detrimental to the individual and possibly also to the population. To examine this belief, the frequency of occurrence (“incidence”) and extent of damage caused by S. nasicola were analysed with respect to the climate of seven sample areas and the age, sex and body size of 614 British weasels. Incidence ranged from 69–100% of the sample, and mean skull damage from 31 to 53 on an index scale of 0–8 points. Significant correlations were found between incidence and date of collection of young weasels, and between extent of damage and mean number of rain-days in the area. Male weasels were more badly damaged than females, though incidence was the same in both sexes. There was no evidence that badly damaged weasels were smaller, lighter, leaner or died sooner than lightly or undamaged ones, nor that, in the wild, they were infested by eating shrews.