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A parasite, such as a flea, that lives on the exterior of another organism.

ec′to·par′a·sit′ic (-sĭt′ĭk) adj.
ec′to·par′a·sit·ism n.


(Biology) a parasite, such as the flea, that lives on the outer surface of its host. Also called: exoparasite
ectoparasitic adj


(ˌɛk toʊˈpær əˌsaɪt)

an external parasite.
ec`to•par`a•sit′ic (-ˈsɪt ɪk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ectoparasite - any external parasitic organism (as fleas)
parasite - an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant); it obtains nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host
flea - any wingless bloodsucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap
References in periodicals archive ?
Prevalence Number of infected hosts/ Abundance (a) Ectoparasite number of hosts % (mean [+ or -] SE) Pulex spp.
Effects of the introduced ectoparasite Philornis downsi on haemoglobin level and nestling survival in Darwin's Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa).
Ectoparasite induced lesions in mite pockets of the Yarrow's spiny lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii (Phrynosomatidae).
The diverse range of the organisms' ectoparasite and animal hosts raises concern about their potential risk to human and animal health.
Recent studies have examined whether parents alter their behavior according to the ectoparasite load of their offspring.
Their study found that in dogs not receiving ectoparasite prevention treatment, one in three dogs were infected with at least one CVBD, while one in ten were infected with more than one CVBD.
Prenatal exposure to testosterone increases ectoparasite susceptibility in the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara).
For example, the sole ectoparasite observed associated with barn swallow nests in Manitoba were hematophagous mites (Barclay 1988).
They were recognized as an important ectoparasite of moose as early as 1909 (Seton 1909), and Samuel (2004) has provided a summary of North American moose mortality related to winter ticks.
Alworth (1996) provides several alternative explanations for why House Wrens invest the time and energy to construct large stick nests, including the suggestions that sticks may reduce ectoparasite loads, regulate nest temperatures, or be a consequence of courtship behavior.
Ectoparasite loads in free-ranging northern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus: effects of testosterone and sex.