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Helminth communities of two lizard populations (Lacertidae) from Canary Islands (Spain): Host diet-parasite relationships

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A parasitological survey has been carried out to determine the relationships between host diet and parasite fauna. Diet, and infracommunities and component communities of two subspecies of lacertid lizards, Gallotia galloti galloti (Oudart, 1839) and G. g. palmae (Boettger et Müller, 1914) from Tenerife and La Palma islands (Canary Islands, Spain), have been analysed. High values of parasite infection parameters were found in both subspecies, which were only infected by nematodes of the family Pharyngodonidae. Plant matter was mainly consumed by both lizard subspecies and relevant amounts of mineral matter were also found in both hosts. Diet of these lacertid lizards was correlated with their parasite fauna formed by monoxenous nematodes parasitising herbivorous reptiles, as in tortoises and iguanid lizards. Abundance and richness of parasites increased with consumption of plant matter in G. g. galloti. Helminthological data support the idea of a tendency of both hosts towards herbivory, probably related to their own phylogeny linked to insularity.


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