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The curious case of the endemic freshwater crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis as incidental host of marine fish acanthocephalan

Marcaida, Arvin Jet B., Urabe, Misako, Briones, Jonathan Carlo A., Diesmos, Mae Lowe L., Tellez, Marisa, Diesmos, Arvin C.
Parasitology international 2019 v.72 pp. 101940
Acanthocephala, Crocodylus mindorensis, captive animals, crocodiles, endangered species, freshwater, hosts, infectious diseases, marine fish, parasites, parasitism, stomach, surveys, wildlife, Philippines
We performed the first host-parasite survey of the Philippine crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis, a critically endangered species for which ecological information is lacking. We collected by gastric lavage samples of the stomach contents of crocodiles (n = 10) residing at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The only parasite detected was an acanthocephalan, which was identified as Neorhadinorhynchus nudus (n = 68), a parasite typically found in the marine fish species consumed by three crocodile individuals. Given the known hosts of N. nudus, its parasitism of C. mindorensis in captivity is likely established by consumption of marine fish. Our findings have implications for the conservation management of C. mindorensis, particularly in terms of preventing introduction of parasites that could lead to development of infectious disease or alter the fitness of captive animals.