Anuran parasites from three biotopes in Rivers State, Nigeria
The parasitic infections of anurans from three biotopes (lowland forest, freshwater swamp and brackish water swamp) in Rivers State, Nigeria were investigated. A total of 94 anuran specimens were examined; 32 from the lowland forest, 28 from the freshwater swamp and 34 from the brackish water environment. Of the three biotopes, amphibians from the lowland forest harboured more parasite species. In total, 24 parasite species were recovered, including a pentastomid; larval acanthocephala; one cestode; one monogenean; sevendigeneans and thirteen nematode species. Only five of the 24 parasite species recovered were common to anurans from the three biotopes. Others were either restricted to one ecological habitat or were also found in hosts from a second habitat. A form of association seems to exist between ciliates and the Cephalochlamys compactus recovered from Hoplobatrachus occipitalis collected from the lowland forest. Hymenochirus sp. is a new host record for Progonimodiscus colubrifer, having been previously described from Silurana tropicalis. Aplectana mackintoschi is both a new geographical record for Nigeria and a multi-host parasite. We suspect Hyperolius concolor to be a paratenic rather than a definitive host for the immature Camallanus sp. recovered from the frog. Other parasites using anurans as paratenic hosts were also encountered.
Keywords: Anurans, parasites, ecological biotopes, Rivers State, Nigeria