Parasites in social subterranean Zambian mole-rats (Cryptomys spp., Bathyergidae, Rodentia)

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Abstract

Three out of 18 examined common mole-rats (Cryptomys sp., Xkaryotype 2n = 58) from Zambia were infested with cestodes (Inermicapsifer nmdagascariensis and an undetermined species) and a nematode (Protospirura muricola). Four out of 14 examined Zambian giant mole-rats (Cryptomys mechowi) hosted cestodes (Raillietina (R) sp. and an undetermined species) and nematodes (Protospirura muricola, Capillaria sp.). Helminths and circumstances of findings are briefly described. No ectoparasites were found. The influences of subterranean and social way of life and feeding habits upon occurrence of parasites in mole-rats are discussed. Burrow conditions and social behaviour seem not to favour infestation by parasites.

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