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Detection of Ranavirus in Eastern Fence Lizards and Eastern Box Turtles in Central Virginia
- Goodman, Rachel M., Hargadon, Kristian M., Carter, E. Davis
- Northeastern naturalist 2018 v.25 no.3 pp. 391-398
- Ranavirus, Sceloporus undulatus, Terrapene carolina, amphibians, mortality, pathogens, screening, surveys, tissues, turtles, Virginia
- Ranaviruses are a group of emerging infectious pathogens that threaten reptiles around the world; however, their geographic and taxonomic distribution in wild reptiles is understudied relative to amphibians. We sampled tissues from 2 reptile species: Terrapene Carolina carolina (Eastern Box Turtle) and Sceloporus undulatus (Eastern Fence Lizard) in central Virginia to determine if they carried these pathogens. We found moderate prevalence of a ranavirus in these 2 species (36.1% and 20.0%, respectively). This study supplements the existing survey information for Eastern Box Turtles, which are known to carry and suffer mortality from ranaviruses. We also report on the first documentation of ranaviruses in the family Phrynosomatidae, and the first systematic screening for ranavirus in a wild, terrestrial squamate population.