Metazoan parasites of anurans from the Vhembe area, Limpopo, South Africa.


T NelR Svitin3; L H Du Preez1
1 North-West University, South Africa;  2 North West University Potchefstroom , South Africa;  3 Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv: Kiev AU, Ukraine


Since amphibians colonized the land about 350 million years ago, they diversified with their parasite fauna and today amphibians are hosts to vast numbers and an astonishing diversity of parasites representing all major parasitic groups. These include protozoans, nematodes, monogenic flukes, cestodes, acanthocephalans, digenetic flukes, leeches and mites. The parasite fauna of amphibians across the globe remain poorly studied. This is especially true for southern Africa where more than 170 amphibian species are currently known. With this alight, this study aims to shed light on the diversity of metazoan parasites from anuran species, within the Vhembe biosphere, located in Limpopo Province (northern part of South Africa). 325 specimens of frogs representing 25 species were collected, dissected and all parasites collected. During this survey 28 species of metazoan parasites were revealed including 19 species of nematodes, three  cestodes, two trematodes, one monogenean, one acanthocephalan, one mite and one annelid. Nematodes were the most abundant parasites comprising 68% (19 of 28 species). In a relatively small study area, and in only 25 species of anurans we found seven species that are morphologically and genetically different from all previously known species and will be described as new species.

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