New data on the parasites of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)

Abstract

The Eurasian otter Lutra lutra (Linnaeus, 1758) is a typical representative of carnivorous mammals from the family of mustelids (Mustelidae) which are closely connected with aquatic ecosystems. Parasitofauna of the otter is poorly identified, e.g. only two specimens have been examined in Poland for the presence of parasites. Currently, three species of parasites were found in one otter: the nematode Oswaldocruzia filiformis (Goeze, 1782), the acanthocephalan Acanthocephalus ranae (Schrank, 1788) and the skin mite from the Demodecidae family. Demodex sp. is a new species to science, while O. filiformis and Demodex sp. are new parasites for the otter throughout the species range. Furthermore, A. ranae was found for the first time in the otter from the area of Poland. The recorded helminths are typical parasites of amphibians and reptiles, and their occurrence in the Eurasian otter may result from postcyclic transmission from primary hosts.

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Correspondence to Leszek Rolbiecki.

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Rolbiecki, L., Izdebska, J.N. New data on the parasites of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). Ocean and Hydro 43, 1–6 (2014). https://doi.org/10.2478/s13545-014-0111-5

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Key words

  • Parasites
  • Eurasian otter
  • Lutra lutra
  • Nematoda
  • Acanthocephala
  • Acari
  • Poland