The Guinea Worm, Dracunculus Insignis (Leidy 1858), a Common Parasite of Raccoons in East Texas

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  • Biological Laboratory, Rice Institute, Houston, Texas

With the kind cooperation of Mr. Rollin H. Baker of the Texas State Game, Fish and Oyster Commission, I had an opportunity to examine a series of 15 raccoons, Procyon lotor lotor, from East Texas. Nine of these were trapped during the month of December, three were obtained in May, and three more in September. Guinea worms were found in six of the nine raccoons examined in the winter, but none were found in those examined in May or September. The worms were never found elsewhere than in the feet; in every instance, they were present in one or both hind feet. Two raccoons also had specimens in one of the front feet, but in one of these cases the worms were dead and partly calcified. The number of worms in a foot varied from one to four.

Inquiry among the trappers in East Texas elicited the information that “worms in the feet” of raccoons is well known to them, and is of very common occurrence.