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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Biology) a parasite, such as the flea, that lives on the outer surface of its host. Also called: exoparasite
ectoparasitic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɛk toʊˈpær əˌsaɪt)

an external parasite.
ec`to•par`a•sit′ic (-ˈsɪt ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bat Ectoparasite Collection and Detection of Bartonella DNA
Veterinary Ectoparasite - Biology, Pathology and Control.
Lice (Phthiraptera) are highly specialized parasitic insects, with generally high specificity, unlike most other ectoparasite insects (Marshall 1981).
Objectives in sampling free-ranging brushtail possums in Perth were to: 1) measure Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence; 2) identify and estimate the prevalence of gastrointestinal protozoan and helminth parasites; 3) identify and estimate the prevalence and intensity of macroscopic ectoparasite infections; and 4) compare parasite taxa prevalence/seroprevalence between brushtail possums trapped in urbanised environments and bushland.
Table 1: Data from collected ectoparasites. Host Ectoparasite Life Sex Stage Dog Rhipicephalus sanguineus Adult Female Dog Rhipicephalus sanguineus Adult Male Dog Rhipicephalus sanguineus Nymph -- Horse Amblyomma mixtum Adult Female Dog Amblyomma mixtum Adult Female Cat Ixodes affinis Adult Female Cat Ixodes affinis Adult Male Dog Ctenocephalides felis Adult -- Cat Ctenocephalides felis Adult -- Dog Trichodectes canis Adult -- Host Total Total Collected Positive Dog 249 38 Dog 138 10 Dog 50 1 Horse 1 0 Dog 2 0 Cat 3 0 Cat 1 0 Dog 32 0 Cat 1 0 Dog 17 0
About 61% (n= 22) had at least one species of ectoparasite; 13 fledglings with ectoparasites were raised from 10 nests located in fragments and five from three nests on trees in cultivated area (farms).
All procedures involving animals were conducted in compliance with the animal use protocol (PN15-06: Field sampling of small mammal populations to support zoonotic disease surveillance and ectoparasite collection) approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of USAMD-AFRIMS.
capitis, the head louse, is an insect of the order Anoplura and is an ectoparasite thats only host is humans.
These results have only anecdotal interest for the time being, and we do not have any comparative data to evaluate the intensity of the infestation of the species by ectoparasites. Therefore, it will be all the more interesting to follow the long-term evolution of ectoparasitism in the years to come in order to characterize the ectoparasite stand of the pigeon biset in the Algerian Sahel.