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Mastozoología neotropical

versión On-line ISSN 1666-0536


EZQUIAGA, M. Cecilia; SUPERINA, Mariella  y  NAVONE, Graciela T.. Intestinal parasites of Zaedyus pichiy (Xenarthra-Dasypodidae) from Mendoza, Argentina. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.2, pp. 309-319. ISSN 1666-0536.

The pichi Zaedyus pichiy is a small armadillo that lives in arid and semi-arid habitats of Argentina and Chile. We studied the intestinal parasites of 53 wild pichis from Mendoza Province, Argentina, and evaluated the distribution of the parasite species in the host population. We analyzed the feces by means of sedimentation and flotation techniques, estimated the parasite load, and performed fecal cultures. Ninety three percent of the samples were positive for protists and/or helminths. Among protists, we observed three different types of Eimeria (Coccidia, Eimeriidae) oocysts that suggest the existence of three different species. Among helminths, we identified eggs of Cestoda: Mathevotaenia sp. (Anoplocephalidae) and Nematoda: Trichuris sp. (Trichuridae); Aspidodera spp. (Aspidoderidae); Cyclobulura sp. (Subuluridae) and Trichostrongyloidea. Aspidodera spp. (79%) and Eimeria spp. (64%) were the most prevalent parasites, followed by Trichostrongyloidea (26%). The remaining parasites registered prevalences below 15%. Eimeria spp., Trichuris sp. and Cyclobulura sp. were recorded for the first time in a xenarthran host from Argentina. Zaedyus pichiy is a new host for Mathevotaenia sp. Mean parasite loads were low for nematodes and moderate for protists. Monitoring the parasite load of pichis over time will allow evaluating the impact of human activities and of environmental factors on the health of their wild populations.

Palabras clave : Armadillos; Helminths; Parasite loads; Prevalence; Protists.

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