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The endoparasites of Liasis fuscus (Serpentes : Boidae) from the Adelaide River floodplain, Northern Territory, Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Eridani MulderEridani Mulder, L Smales, Lesley WarnerLesley Warner
This study documents the parasite assemblage of Liasis fuscus Peters, 1873 from the Adelaide River flood plain, Northern Territory, Australia. In total, nine species of helminth (comprising three cestodes and six nematodes), onepentastome and one protozoan were found in 180 water pythons, with the Nematoda being the dominant and most diverse group, and a cestode, Bothridium omatum Maplestone & Southwell, 1923, the most prevalent species. In spite of the hosts being present in high numbers the helminth assemblage was depauperate, characterised by low prevalence, intensity, frequency and abundance of species, with neither season nor sex of host affecting abundance. There were, however, significant differences between ages of hosts, juveniles having fewer parasites, and seasonal diversity, with the wet season of 2004 and the dry of 2005 the most similar. Of the Australian python species analysed Morelia spilota (Lacepede, 1804) had the highest species richness. The lower species richness found in L. fuscus was possibly due to its unusual biology. Biogeographic relationships of the parasite fauna of L. fuscus are diverse, connections wi1h Africa, Asia, and South America being noted.