HEMOPARASITES IN BLACK CAIMANS AND SPECTACLED CAIMANS TRAPPED IN THE MEANDROS EPA OF THE ARAGUAIA RIVER

A.L.Q Santos H.C. Pereira J.M.M Silva L.Q.L. Hirano About the authors

ABSTRACT

Infections are common in both wild and captive populations, and the occurrence of diseases is among the greatest threats to biodiversity that can result from human activity. Most free-living species face problems that accelerate them along a path towards possible extinction. Given the importance of the research of parasites in wild animals as a tool to study the health of a population and the environment, this work aimed to investigate the presence and frequency of blood parasites in free-living black caimans (Melanosuchus niger) and spectacled caimans (Caiman crocodilus) in the Meandros Environmental Protection Area of the Araguaia River, in Goiás, Brazil. Evaluations were made of the blood smears of 65 specimens, comprising 26 Melanosuchus niger and 39 Caiman crocodilus, stained with Wright’s stain. Samples were collected during the period of October 2006 to June 2007. The erythrocytes were analyzed in 20 fields per slide. There was a presence of intra-erythrocytic blood parasites in 46 (70.76%) animals, which were recognized as belonging to the genus Coccidia and the family Haemogregarinidae, revealing a high rate of crocodilian hemoparasitosis in this region.

KEY WORDS
Caiman crocodilus ; Coccidia ; Haemogregarinidae; Melanosuchus niger ; parasite

Instituto Biológico Av. Conselheiro Rodrigues Alves, 1252 - Vila Mariana - São Paulo - SP, 04014-002 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: arquivos@biologico.sp.gov.br