Helminth Species and Infracommunities in Frogs Pelophylax ridibundus and P. esculentus (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Northern Ukraine

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to characterise and compare the helminth assemblages and helminth infracommunities in the marsh frog, Pelophylax ridibundus and the edible frog, P. esculentus collected in the northern part of Ukraine.

Methods

Occurrence and abundance of the helminths were analysed by calculating the prevalence, intensity, and mean abundance of infection; similarities between the infracommunities were estimated by the Bray–Curtis index and visualised using nMDS plots. Dissimilarities were estimated using the ANOSIM and SIMPER routines.

Results

In total, 27 helminth species were found in 143 frogs. Pelophylax ridibundus (n = 86) harboured 20 species of helminths, 24 species were found in P. esculentus (n = 57), and 17 species were shared by the two hosts. Oswaldocruzia bialata and larval Strigea sp. were absent in P. ridibundus, while they reached the prevalence of 30% and 10%, respectively, in P. esculentus. Cosmocerca ornata, Diplodiscus subclavatus, Opisthioglyphe ranae, and Codonocephalus urniger had significantly larger prevalence in P. ridibundus, whereas Haematoloechus asper was found to be more prevalent in P. esculentus. Acanthocephalus ranae, Icosiella neglecta, Haematoloechus variegatus, Pleurogenes claviger, Pleurogenoides medians, and Prosotocus confusus were equally common in both hosts. Helminth infracommunities in the two hosts had identical species richness (1–10 species, 4 on average); abundance was significantly higher in P. ridibundus.

Conclusions

Helminth assemblages of the two hosts in northern Ukraine are rather similar; however, small but significant differences were found in their species composition, parameters of infection in some species, and structure of helminth infracommunities.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr. Mykhailo Khymyn for the organisation of fieldwork at the "Prypiat-Stokhid" National Nature Park. Advisory help of Dr. Vasyl Tkach (University of North Dakota, USA) and Dr. Eleonora Korol (National Museum of Natural History, Ukraine) in the identification of trematodes is sincerely appreciated.

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Kuzmin, Y., Dmytrieva, I., Marushchak, O. et al. Helminth Species and Infracommunities in Frogs Pelophylax ridibundus and P. esculentus (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Northern Ukraine. Acta Parasit. 65, 341–353 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-019-00164-3

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Keywords

  • Pelophylax
  • Helminths
  • Parasite communities
  • Infracommunities