(redirected from Ectoparasites)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


A parasite that lives on the exterior of its host.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a parasitic organism that lives on the surface of the body of the host. Ectoparasites make up the largest group of organisms that live on the surface of other organisms. Some ectoparasites are permanently attached to the host, such as copepods living on the skin and gills of fish. However, most move along the host’s body, for example, Urcelariidae and monogenetic flatworms, which parasitize fish, and lice and bird lice, which parasitize birds and occasionally mammals. Various and frequently complex organs of attachment, such as suckers, suction disks, and hooks, are the principal means by which they adapt to existence on the host.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Trichodinids ectoparasites (Ciliophora: Peritrichida) of wild and cultured fresh-water fishes in Taiwan, with notes on their origin.
Using a Bullet Blender Gold homogenizer (Next Advance, Averill Park, NY, USA), we homogenized whole ectoparasites in Navy Eppendorf bead tubes (Next Advance) containing 400 [micro]L brain-heart infusion broth (CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA).
So ectoparasites play an important role [in] making sure that only healthy birds survive in the wild.
Resource tracking patterns in bird and mammal ectoparasites. Miscellaneous Publications of the Entomological Society of America 9: 231-236.
Ectoparasites are important in avian host populations because they can affect health condition, regulate population dynamics and alter interspecific competition (Proctor & Owens, 2000; Hudson et al., 2006; Jephcott et al., 2016).
A thorough screen for macroscopic ectoparasites was undertaken on each possum, which included direct examination of the animal, a coat brush and examination of the handling bag.
Collection of Ectoparasites. From June to July 2015, 188 houses were randomly visited and all domestic animals present in them (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) were examined, with previous authorization by the owner, looking for ectoparasites in body sites such as ears, shoulders, udder, and belly.
They also play an important role in the survival and ecology of various ectoparasites including chiggers, ticks, fleas, and lice.
In the industrial layer hens, the species of the genus Megninia are important and responsible ectoparasites for damages in the eggs' production, being also told in other hosts, as parakeets, turkeys and pigeons (GUIMARAES et al., 2001; TUCCI et al., 2005; REZENDE et al., 2013).
A total of 50 adults pigeons, same-aged pigeons were captured from different locations from January, 2015 to December, 2015 were examined for ectoparasites. The host was collected on monthly basis at regular intervals and the number of birds examined each month varied between 15 and 20 based on availability.
He has published extensively on ectoparasites, food habits, and bats--well over 100 papers on each of these topics--and has authored or co-authored four major books on mammals: Mammals of Indiana (two editions, 1982 and 2009), Mammals of Indiana: A Field Guide (2010), The Audubon Field Guide to North American Mammals (1996), and Mammals of the Eastern United Slates (2nd and 3rd editions, 1979 and 1998).