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Vol. 11 Núm. 2 (2022)

Parasites associated with Ophidia of the Colombian Pacific

mayo 11, 2024


This study describes the diversity of parasites in ophidian species from four ecoregions of Valle del Cauca and Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific). For this, samples from necropsies, blood and feces were collected from 37 snakes belonging to the species Bothrops asper (terrestrial), Leptodeira annulata (semiarboreal), Imantodes cenchoa (arboreal), Sibon nebulatus (arboreal), Boa constrictor (semiarboreal), Clelia clelia (terrestrial), Mastigodryas boddaerti (terrestrial) and Micrurus mipartitus (terrestrial). Parasite detection was performed using stereoscopic and optical microscopy, and/or concentration and staining methods depending on the sample type; parasites were identified by morphological keys. Eleven snakes (29.7%) belonging to four species were infected with at least one of seven parasite taxa identified (six nematodes and one hemoparasite). Among nematodes, the families Rhabditidae and Oxyuridae, and the genus Kalicephalus were found for the first time in L. annulata. Worms of the order Strongylida, and the genera Kalicephalus and Ophidascaris were identified in B. asper. Hepatozoon spp. (hemoparasite) presented the highest prevalence of infection, which was only infecting arboreal and semi-arboreal snakes (L. annulata, I. cenchoa and B. constrictor), showing in addition morphological variability of the gametocytes. Our findings suggest that transmission of this parasite may be associated with snake habits and lifestyle.


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