Gastro-intestinal helminths in the red-bellied squirrel introduced in Argentina: accidental acquisitions and lack of specific parasites

Authors
Gozzi, Ana Cecilia; Guichon, Maria Laura; Benitez, Verónica Victoria; Troyelli, Adrián; Navone, Graciela Teresa
Publication Year
2014
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Introduced species may lose their natural parasites when invading a new habitat, may acquire new, local parasites or may introduce parasites from their native range. We studied the gastro-intestinal helminth fauna associated with the red-bellied squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas, 1778) introduced in Argentina to evaluate its role as a host of either specific or acquired parasites in two invasion foci. We analyzed entire digestive tracts of 72 red-bellied squirrels captured in the main invasion focus (Luján, province of Buenos Aires) between February and May 2011, and in a secondary focus (Cañada de Gómez, province of Santa Fe) in December 2008. We only found two nematode specimens: an adult male belonging to the genus Pterygodermatites (Paucipectines) Quentin, 1969 and another adult male belonging to the genus Stilestrongylus (Freitas, Lent and Almeida, 1973). None of these genera were previously listed for the red-bellied squirrel in introduced areas, but a species of the genus Pterygodermatites was previously reported for this squirrel in its native habitat. These results indicate that, to date, the red-bellied squirrel in Argentina is accidentally parasitised by nematodes acquired in its new environment and has no specific gastro-intestinal helminths. This could be related with a “founder effect” and/or the lack of sciurid rodents that prevent the red-bellied squirrel to be colonized by pre-adapted helminth taxa. Other factors that may play a role are the small number of mammals with arboreal habits and some “encounter barriers” in the new environment that prevent the acquisition of helminths with a wide host spectrum.
Fil: Gozzi, Ana Cecilia. Universidad Nacional de Luján. Departamento de Ciencias Básicas. Grupo de Estudios en Ecología de Mamíferos; Argentina
Fil: Guichon, Maria Laura. Universidad Nacional de Luján. Departamento de Ciencias Básicas. Grupo de Estudios en Ecología de Mamíferos; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Patagonia Norte. Instituto de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Medioambiente; Argentina
Fil: Benitez, Verónica Victoria. Universidad Nacional de Luján. Departamento de Ciencias Básicas. Grupo de Estudios en Ecología de Mamíferos; Argentina
Fil: Troyelli, Adrián. Universidad Nacional de Luján. Departamento de Ciencias Básicas. Grupo de Estudios en Ecología de Mamíferos; Argentina
Fil: Navone, Graciela Teresa. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico La Plata. Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores (i); Argentina
Subject
INVASIVE SQUIRREL
HELMINTH SURVEY
NEMATODES
PARASITE RELEASE
Ecología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Open access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/9867