HELMINTH ENDOPARASITES OF THE RAINBOW LIZARD, Agama agama L. (SQUAMATA: AGAMIDAE) IN NSUGBE, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF TABLES

 

 

Table 1: Prevalence of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama in

 

Nsugbe------------------------------------------------------------------------26

 

 

 

Table 2: Prevalence of helminth endoparasite in adult and juvenile

 

Agama agama in Nsugbe------------------------------------------------26

 

 

Table 3: Prevalence of different species of helminth endoparasites in

 

Agama agama in Nsugbe ----------------------------------------------27

 

 

Table 4: Prevalence of different species of helminth parasites in Agama

 

Agama in Nsugbe by sex of host---------------------------------------29

 

 

Table 5: Prevalence of differqent species of helminth endoparasites in

 

Agama agama in Nsugbe by Age-------------------------------------32

 

 

Table 6: Concomitant infections involving different species of helminth

 

Endoparasite in Agama agama in Nsugbe--------------------------35

 

 

Table 7: Microhabitat of helminth endoparasites of Agama agama …...37


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LIST OF FIGURES

 

 

 

Fig 1: Map showing the study area………………………………………..18 Fig 2a: Posterior surface (ventral view) of S. brevicaudata

 

(showing caudal papillae)………………………………………….41

 

Fig 2b: Posterior end (lateral view) of S. brevicaudata internal organs identified……………………………………………………………..41

 

Fig 3a: Anterior and (lateral view) of P. awokoyai showing internal organs …………………………………………………………………42

 

Fig 3b: Posterior end (later view) of P. awokoyai showing internal organs…………………………………………………………………42

 

Fig 4a: The scolex of Oochoristica truncata ………………………………43 Fig 4b: Mature proglottid of Oochoristica truncata…………………….....43


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LIST OF PLATES

 

 

Plate1a: Anterior end, female Strongyluris brevicaudata ….….………...30

 

 

Plate1b: Posterior end, female Strongyluris brevicaudata ………..…….40

 

 

Plate2a: Anterior end, male S. brevicaudata ..……………………………41

 

Plate 2b: Posterior end, male S. brevicaudata …………………………...41 Plate3a: Anterior end, female Parapharyngodon awokoyai …..…….…..42 Plate3b: Posterior end, female Parapharyngodon awokoyai …..………42 Plate4a: Anterior end, female Foleyella candezei………..……………....43 Plate4b: Posterior end, female Foleyella candezei ...……..……….…….43

 

Plate5a: The scolex of O. truncata……………….………..……………....44 Plate5b: A mature proglottid of O. truncata………. ...……..……….……44


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Title page ………………………………………………………………...……..i Citification ………………………………………………………………………ii

 

Dedication ……………………………………………………………………..iii Acknowledgement …………………………………………………………....iv List of Tables ………………………………………………………………..…v

 

List of Figures …………………………………………………………………vi

 

Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………vii

 

Abstract …………………………………………………………………….…viii

 

 

 

Chapter One: Introduction ……………………………………………..…1

 

1.1       Aim of the Study ………………………………………………………..5

 

1.2       Objectives of the Study………………………………………………...5

 

Chapter Two: Literature Review ………………………………….……...7

 

2.1       Helminth Parasites of the Rainbow Lizard, Agama agama …….….7

 

2.2       Helminth parasites of A.agama in Nigeria ………..…………………7

 

2.3       Helminth parasites of Agamids from other countries ………………9

 

2.3.1 Platyhelminth parasites of Agamidae……………………...…………9 2.3.2 Nematode parasites of Agamidae…..……………………………….9 2.3.3 Acanthocephalan Parasites of Agamidae…………………………..11

 

2.4       Helminth of other species of lizards ………………………………..11 2.4.1 Platyhelminth parasites of Iguanidae…. ……………………………11


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2.4.2 Platyhelminth parasites of Teiidae ………………………………….12

 

2.5       Nematode Parasites of other species of Lizards …………………13

 

2.5.1 Nematode parasites of Iguanidae…… ……………………………..13 2.5.2 Nematode parasites of Teiidae. …………………………………….15

 

2.5.3 Nematode parasites of Varanidae ………………………………….15

 

2.6       Acanthocephalan parasites of Iguanidae…. ………………………16

 

 

 

Chapter Three: Materials and Methods ……………………………....17

 

3.1       Study Area …………………………………………………………….17

 

3.2       Collection of lizards……….……………………………………..…...20

 

3.3       Killing of the lizards …………………………………………….…….21

 

3.4       Sex determination ………………………………………………….…21

 

3.5       Examination of lizards for infestation by gut helminth parasites…22

 

3.6       Identification of parasites …………………………………………….23

 

3.7       Statistical Test……………………………………………….………...24

 

Chapter Four: Results ………………………………………………….…25

 

4.1       Prevalence of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama

 

in Nsugbe………………………………………………………………25

 

4.2       Prevalence of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama in Nsugbe by age of host………………………………………….……26

 

4.3       Prevalence of different species of endoparasites in Agama

 

agama in Nsugbe………………………………………………….….27

 

4.4       Prevalence of different species of helminth endoparasites

 

in Agama agama in Nsugbe by sex of host……………………….29


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4.5       Prevalence of different species of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama in Nsugbe, by age…………………………………..32

 

4.6       Concomitant infections involving different species of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama in Nsugbe……………………….35

 

4.7       Microhabitat of helminth endoparasite of Agama agama……….37

 

4.8       Food of Agama agama in Nsugbe…………………………………..38

 

4.9       Pathological effects of helminth endoparasites in Agama agama in Nsugbe…………………………………………………………………39

Chapter Five: Discussion ……………. ………………………………….45

 

References …………………………………………………………………..54

 

Appendix ...…………………………………………………………………..60


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Abstract

 

Two hundred and fifty (250) Agama agama comprising of 160 males and 90 females caught in the wild were examined for infestation by parasites between August and November 2008. Three species of nematodes namely

 

Strongyluris brevicaudata, Parapharyngodon awokoyai and Foleyella candezei and one specie of cestode, Oochoristica truncata were recovered from the lizards. S. brevicaudata had the highest prevalence of infection (85.60%), followed by P. awokoyai (55.60%), O. truncata (6.80%) and then

 

F. candezei(2.00%). Male lizards had higher prevalence (86.87%) than female lizards (86.66%), although statistically, the difference was not significant (P = 0.05). Likewise, the adults had higher prevalence (94.76%) than the juveniles (57.62%) with no significant difference recorded (P = 0.05). F.candezei and O. truncata were not recovered from juvenile lizards. Prevalence of S. brevicaudata was higher in male lizards (86.25%) while prevalence of P. awokoyai. F. candezei and O. truncata were higher in female with 61.11%, 2.22% and 7.78% respectively at (p<0.05).The most frequent two species concomitant infection involved S. brevicaudata and P. awokoyai while the most frequent three species concomitant infection involved S. brevicaudata, P. awokoyai and O . truncata. Parasite abundance and their preferred sites/ location within the host were obtained. The rectum was the preferred site for S. brevicaudata (98.95%) and P. awokoyai (99.85%), the intestine was the preferred site for O. truncata

 

(89.04%) while F. candezei (76.19%) preferred the body cavity. S. brevicaudata, P.awokoyai and F.candezei are reported from South East Nigeria for the first time.


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CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

Agama agama, is a common and conspicuous reptile throughout tropical Africa, and was first described by Linnaeus (1758) under the name Lacerta agama. Daudin (1830) named it Agama colonorum, unaware that this Lizard belonged to the same species as Linnaeus’s specimen, but Anderson (1900) realized the relationship between Linnaeus’s and Daudin’s specimens and changed the name to Agama agama. The title ‘Rainbow lizard’ used by Lowes (1954) seems particularly apt for such a colourful animal, and, in the absence of any other, might be accepted as the common English name (Harris, 1964).

 

The Rainbow lizard can be regarded as a typical member of Family Agamidae. This large family of lizards is well represented in Africa, Asia and Australia, and just penetrated into South-East Europe. Its members are diverse in their, external appearance, but underlying this diversity, there is a remarkable uniformity of anatomical structure, which is well illustrated in the genus Agama (Harris, 1963).


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Agama agama is characterized by its whitish underside, buff brown back limbs and tail with a slightly lighter stripe down the middle and six to seven dark patches to the side of this stripe. There is some sexual dimorphism. The subordinate males, females, and adolescents posses an olive green head. A blue body, yellow tail and head characterize the dominant male. (Harris, 1964)

 

Agama agama has a large head separated from the body, a long tail, well-developed external ear openings and eyelids. It has acrodont teeth (that is, having the teeth fixed on top of the Jaw ridge) and homodont teeth (that is, having teeth all of the same shape). The lizard possesses both caniniform, incisors for grasping and molariform cheek teeth for crushing.

 

The maximum size for male lizards is twenty-five centimeters and for female lizards is twenty centimeters (Harris, 1964). The species is widely distributed, and is tolerant of a considerable range of climatic conditions. It is to be found in such widely different environments as the humid mangrove swamps and the arid Sahara Desert. Eleven


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subspecies have been recorded, mostly from East Africa (Harris, 1963). Rainbow Lizards can occupy urban, suburban and wild areas that supply enough vegetation for reproduction and insects for food.

 

Agama agama is primarily insectivorous although it is known to eat small mammals, small reptiles, and vegetation such as flowers, grasses and fruits. The diet consists of mainly ants (intermediate host of helminths), grasshoppers, beetles and termites (Harris, 1964), which makes it a veritable natural pest control agent. A. agama is a sit and wait predator (Crews et al., 1983). Hunting by vision, it sits in vegetation, under a rock outcropping, or in the shade and waits until an insect or small mammal walks by and then will chase the prey. They catch their prey by using a tongue with a tip covered by mucous glands; this aids the lizard in holding onto small prey such as ants and termites.

 

Agama agama has been reported to serve as transport and reservoir host to several protozoan (Haemogregarina sp, Plasmodium and Eimeria oocysts) and helminth parasites (Wekhe and Olayinka, 1999). In Nigeria, according to the investigations carried out by Babero


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and Okpala (1962) and Wekhe and Olayinka (1999), some parasites such as Lecudina, a gregarinid protozoan pose a risk to man, who can act as intermediate host. Man can be infected with Raillietiella sp (a pentastomid) by having their hands contaminated with the faeces or saliva of the reptile and accidentally ingesting the eggs. Handling faecal contaminated water, dishes, and other equipment may also result in accidental transmission. Agama agama is therefore in addition to its role as a natural pest control agent, a potential source of zoonosis.

 

Although the role of A.agama in the control of agricultural and domestic arthropod pests has not been evaluated, every day observation in nature indicates that its role in these areas could be substantial.

 

Agama agama is also an important item in the food chain of carnivorous vertebrates, notably some birds of prey and snakes. Some species of hawks appear to feed exclusively on the lizard and show amazing dexterity in picking up the reptile. Thus, the niche of Agama agama in the agro-ecosystem is multidimensional and its role in the balance of nature significant.


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There is a general paucity of information on helminth parasites of lizards in Africa, which makes clear understanding of the relationship between such parasites and their hosts difficult. There is therefore need to intensify studies in different aspects of the biology and ecology of African lizards, including A.agama. This study is an effort in that direction and is aimed at providing baseline data on helminth endoparasites of

 

A.agama in Nsugbe, Anambra State.

 

 

1.1       Aim of the Study

 

 

To provide baseline data on Helminth endoparasite of Agama agama in Nsugbe , Anambra State.

 

1.2       Objectives of the Study

 

 

The objectives of the study includes:

 

 

1.   To ascertain the helminth endoparasites of Agama agama in 3-3 area of Nsugbe, Anambra State.

 

2.   To ascertain the prevalence and abundance of the parasites in the lizard.


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3.   To ascertain the microhabitat of the helminth endoparasites in sites within the lizard.

 

4.   To ascertain the food of Agama agama in Nsugbe.

 

 

5.   To ascertain the relationship between the age, and sex of Agama agama and infestation by helminth endoparasites.

 

6.   To ascertain any pathological effect of helminth endoparasites on Agama agama in Nsugbe.


 

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