Answer to the Monday Medical Mystery Exam

How did you do on Monday’s medical entomology test?

The correct answers are best approximated by: b,d,a,d,b,a,c,b,a,d

Points are awarded as follows. For those providing the first correct answer to each question: Cheri Abraham, 7. Matt Bertone, 2. Susannah, 1. I’m also awarding one point each to Guillaume, Michael, and Dave for the lively discussion. Nice work, all.

This brings us to the end of the September Mysteries and to the announcement of our monthly winners. We have a two-way tie between JasonC and Bill Rockenbeck. Congratulations! Contact me for your loot.

4 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Medical Mystery Exam”

  1. Prof, I beg to differ on question 9: according to Goddard (p82; 2008): “Ticks feed exclusively on blood”.
    On the other hand, lice (Phthiraptera) are ectoparasitic, they are divided in two: “Anoplura (…) consume blood” and “Mallophaga (…) use their mandibles to chew on feathers, fur, or dander but some of them will also consume epidermal secretions or gnaw through skin/quills to obtain blood”. (Dunn and Pitt, 2012).

    If one then takes the definition of monophagous as “Eating only one kind of food.” Ticks are monophagous blood feeders, but lice are scavengers feedinf on blood, skin, secretions etc. are are thus not monophagous.

    I understand tough, that ticks don’t usually have specifics hosts, while lice are often host specific, but I don’t believe that translates into monophagy.

    Please tell me where/if I am mistaken!

    1. Guillaume- that’s a well-reasoned argument. But for the purposes of the class that donated the exam question to our mystery, we defined monophagy in reference to host species. By this metric, lice are the most likely of the parasites listed to be found on a single host.

      1. Thanks. I guess I was arguing for all the student who think like me that ‘host specificity’ should be used for what the food comes from, while ‘monophagy’ be used for what the food is. Since, presumably deer and dog blood are more alike to each other than deer blood and deer skin or deer sebum. If the question is ambiguous, they should get points too.

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