Helminth communities of Pithecopu nordestinus (Anura: Phyllomedusidae) in forest remnants, Brazil

Priscila Almeida de Sena, Breno Moura Conceição, Paula Fonseca Silva, Winny GO Silva, Wagner Berenguel Ferreira, Valdemiro A Silva Júnior, Geraldo JB Moura, Jaqueline Bianque de Oliveira

Abstract


The helminth parasite communities of anurans are determined by environmental and host factors. For to describe the parasites and to investigate the host and environmental factors that can influence the composition and structure of the helminth fauna were studied 72 specimens of Pithecopus nordestinus (Caramaschi 2006) collected in two different areas in northeastern region of Brazil:  Estação Ecológica do Tapacurá (EET), a remnant of Atlantic Rainforest in Pernambuco state (n=39), and Floresta Nacional do Araripe (FLONA), a remnant of Altitudinal Forest in Ceará state (n=33). Helminths of six taxa (five nematodes and one acanthocephalan) were identified, being the nematodes the most prevalent helminths (Cosmocercidae gen. sp., Cosmocerca parva, Cosmocercella phyllomedusae, Oxyascaris caudacutus and Rhabdias sp.), followed by acanthocephalans (Centrorhynchus sp.). The prevalence and the mean intensity of infection were higher in the animals from FLONA. Body size and sex of hosts did not influence the abundance of helminths, but the parasites abundance was different between the two study sites, being higher in FLONA than in EET. The abundance of helminths was different between the two study areas, demonstrating that local characteristics as well as the host ecology and diet are crucial in host-parasite relationship in forested environments. The knowledge about the composition and structure of helminth fauna is important for the conservation of anurans and ecosystems where they live.


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