Parasitofauna of ground-dwelling anurans from cocoa plantations in Ugboke, Edo State, Nigeria
The parasitofauna of ground-dwelling anurans from pesticide-treated cocoa plantations (CP) in Ojo Camp, Ugboke, Edo State of Nigeria were investigated and compared with those recovered from host specimens collected from the village settlement (VS). The anurans were caught by hand following visual or acoustic location. The anurans encountered in both the VS and the CP included Aubria subsigillata, Hylarana spp. (H. albolabris and H. galamensis), Sclerophrys spp. (S. maculata and S. regularis), Ptychadena spp. (P. aequiplicata, P. longirostris, P. mascareniensis, P. oxyrhynchus and P. pumilio) and Hoplobatrachus occipitalis. Hylarana galamensis, Ptychadena spp. and Sclerophrys spp. were encountered in the VS and the CP while Aubria subsigillata, H. albolabris and H. occipitalis occurred only in the CP. The helminth parasites recovered included four cestode species (adult of Cylindrotaenia jaegerskioeldi and three encysted proteocephalid larvae), five Polystoma spp. 11 species of digeneans and 19 nematode species. More parasite species were recovered from toads collected from the VS; parasite prevalence was generally low in both habitats but the intensity of infection was higher in the specimens collected from the VS. Although cip A. subsigillata and H. ocitalis both occurred in the CP, A. subsigillata was the more susceptible host of the two, harbouring 16 helminth parasites as against four from H. occipitalis. Polystomes were recovered from H. albolabris and H. galamensis in addition to Diplodiscus fischthalicus and Mesocoelium spp. Infections occurred mostly among the Ptychadeniidae collected from the CP, with prevalence ranging from 12.5% to 100% and infection intensity from 1.0 to 13.0. The generally low parasite burden in anurans from the CP can possibly be attributed to the pesticide contamination of this habitat which may have hindered the development of the free-living stages of parasites in this milieu.
Keywords: Anurans; cocoa plantation; pesticides; parasitofauna; prevalence; intensity.