Assessment of platyhelminth diversity within amphibians of French Guiana revealed a new species of Nanopolystoma (Monogenea: Polystomatidae) in the caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda
Du Preez, Louis H.
MetadataShow full item record
Scientists attending the First World Congress of Her-petology in 1989 first became concerned about a widespread decline in amphibian population numbers (Stuart et al. 2004). Since then, the number of studies and publications on amphibians increased considerably and the number of species known nearly doubled to the current figure of 7 044 (Frost 2013). In their comprehensive study to identify biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities , Meyers et al. (2000) reported on the unique biodiversity of the Neotropical realm and the high levels of endemism. This biogeographical area hosts indeed the highest amphibian diversity in the world with 49% of all known amphibian species (Stuart et al. 2004, Vredenburg and Wake 2007). Amphibians serve as hosts to a variety of parasites. For example, the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Dau-din), may be infected by no less than 25 different parasite genera from seven higher taxa (Tinsley 1996). Polysto-matid flatworms of the class Monogenea Carus, 1863, which comprises 24 genera, are known from a large range of hosts including the Australian lungfish (one genus), amphibians (19 genera), freshwater turtles (three genera) and the hippopotamus (one genus). The vast majority of polystomatids reported are parasite of amphibians, among which 16 genera are from anurans, two from urodelids and one from caecilians.