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Gastric Nematodes Of Nile Crocodiles In The Okavango River Botswana

Gastric Nematodes Of Nile Crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768, In The Okavango River, Botswana

A number of gastrointestinal nematodes from crocodilian hosts have been reported in the literature (Baker 1983). Amongst these the ascaridoid nematodes belonging to the subfamily Heterocheilinae and Anisakinae are some of the most prominent species (Sprent 1977, 1978, 1979a, b).

Eight of the 11 genera are included in the subfamily Heterocheilinae parasitize crocodilians, namely Brevimulti caecum Mozgovoy, in Skrjabin, Shikhobalova & Mozgovoy, 1952, Dujardinascaris Baylis, 1947, Gedoelstascaris Sprent, 1978, Hartwichia Chabaud & Bain, 1966, Multicaecum Baylis, 1923, Ortleppascaris Sprent, 1978, Trispiculascaris Skrjabin, 1916 and Typhlophorus Von Linstow, 1906 (Sprent 1983). The genus Terranova Leiper & Atkinson, 1914 is included in the subfamily Anisakinae (Sprent 1979a).

The genera Hartwichia and Trispiculascaris have as yet only been recorded from the African continent, while Brevimulticaecum occurs in South and North American crocodilians, and Typhlophorus seems exclusive to India. Gedoelstascaris and Multicaecum have both been found in Africa and Australasia, whereas Ortleppascaris is known from African as well as South and North American hosts.

To date, Terranova and Dujardinascaris are the only ascaridoid genera occurring throughout the entire range of the crocodilians’ geographic distribution, with representatives in the Neotropics, Africa and Australasia (Sprent 1977, 1978, 1979a, b, 1983). Even genera with a wide geographic distribution are generally characterized by strict species separation with respect to the various geographic areas. Multi-caecum agile (Wedl, 1861) Baylis, 1923 and Ter ranova crocodilii (Taylor, 1924) Hartwich, 1957, in fact, are the only two species that have been listed from Africa as well as Australia.

In this paper we report on some nematodes recovered from the stomach contents of Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768, in Botswana.

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