Parasitic worms in reptiles from Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait

Jones, HI 2003 , 'Parasitic worms in reptiles from Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 137 , pp. 7-12 , doi: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.137.7.

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The endoparasitic worms in reptiles from Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait were recorded from dissections of nine Tympanocryptis diemensis, six Tiliqua nigrolutea, 20 Cyclodomorphus casuarinae, 15 Egernia whitii, 17 Austrelaps superbus, 24 Notechis ater, seven Drysdalia coronoides and four Pelamis platurus. Thirteen species of worms were recorded, namely, the pentastomes Waddycephalus superbus and Waddycephalus ?sp. nov., an unidentified oxyurid nematode species, the nematodes Maxvachonia brygooi, M chabaudi, Strongyluris paronai, Moaciria sp., Paraheterotyphlum australe, Ophidascaris pyrrhus, Kreisiella sp., Abbreviata antarctica, the trematode Dolichoperoides macalpini and the cestode Oochoristica vacuo lata. The roundworm O. pyrrhus was most prevalent, occurring almost entirely in the Black Tiger Snake, N ater. The fluke D. macalpini was found, often at high intensity, in the Black Tiger Snake and in the Copperhead, A. superbus.
No other worms occurred in more than two of any host species, and, apart from A. antarctica and S. paronai, all nematodes were at an intensity of four or less worms per host. Six of the 13 helminth species were recovered only from the Bass Strait islands. Previous studies in mainland Australia demonstrate that the reptile species examined in the present study (N ater), or related species in the same genera (Tiliqua, Cyclodomorphus, Egernia, Drysdalia), may support a greater range and number of nematodes. The possible reasons for the lower worm numbers in Tasmania include the effects of a cool and damp climate on the distribution of the worms' intermediate hosts and on the survival of free-living stages of the parasites, and geographical isolation.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Jones, HI
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
DOI / ID Number: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.137.7
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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