Skrjabingylus, sinus nematode, parasite, lesion, mustelidae, mephitidae, Arkansas


Nasal nematodes of the genus Skrjabingylus occur in the mammalian families Mustelidae and Mephitidae, and have been found from Canada to Costa Rica. Ingestion of infected snails, frogs, snakes, or mice can lead to infection of these mammalian hosts. Infection often causes pathology to bones in the sinus region, which may lead to discoloration, enlargement, and fenestrations of the bone. Examination of museum specimens for bone lesions or other evidence of infection has been used to evidence prior infection, but prevalence and intensity cannot be interpreted without actually recovering the parasite. We examined Mustelids and Mephitids in collections of mammals housed at Arkansas State University (ASU), Henderson State University (HSU), and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) to evaluate the possible occurrence of nasal nematodes in Arkansas mammals. Evidence of infection was found in skulls of the Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius), Mink (Neovison vison), Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata), and North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) from Arkansas. We report for the first time evidence of the presence and distribution of Skrjabingylus sp. infecting mammals in Arkansas.