A survey of the parasites of the African white-bellied pangolin, Phataginus tricuspis, in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
A preliminary investigation was conducted into the parasites of the pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) in Edo State, Nigeria. They were purchased at Ekiuwa Market in Benin City, where they are sold and people consume the meat as a good source of protein and the animal can also be used for medicinal purposes. Four (4) pangolins were examined and recorded a prevalence of 100% infection rate with parasites. A total of 321 parasites were recorded and comprised of the gastrointestinally located Cestode (Metadavainea sp.) and the Nematode (Parastrongyloides sp.). The ectoparasites recorded were the ixodid hard ticks (Amblyommasp. and Rhipicephalus sp.) The nematode Parastrongyloides sp. was the most prevalent parasite with an occurrence of 39.57% and mean intensity of 31.75. The cestode recorded was found to be a new host recorded in pangolin in Nigeria. The findings contribute to our knowledge on the biology of pangolins and would also assist in further studies into the parasite fauna, the source of the infection (particularly through their food and feeding habits) and their health status.
Keywords: Parasite; African white-bellied pangolin; Edo State; Nigeria