Fatal parasitosis caused by Hedruris siredonis (Nematoda) Baird, 1858 in the Alchichica salamander Ambystoma taylori Brandon, Maruska and Rumph 1982.

Christopher John Michaels, José Alfredo Hernández Díaz, Maria del Carmen Carmona Muciño, Claudia Muñoz-García, David Osorio-Sarabia, Laura Acebes, Olivia Couchman, Nisha Owen, Carly Waterman


Ambystoma taylori is a micro-endemic salamander found only in the hyposaline lake Alchichica in Puebla, Mexico. It is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN and its habitat is threatened by water extraction, pollution and development. However, little is known abut the salamander and its biology. We surveyed the lake for salamanders as part of a two year project funded by the Zoological Society of London's Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) programme. During nocturnal visual encounter surveys, we captured two emaciated salamanders that were unable to feed and died within 12 hours of capture. Post mortem examinations revealed absence of fat bodies, plethoric gall bladders and abnormal livers, indicative of starvation. The stomach and upper intenstine was densely packed with the namatode Hedruris siredonis, which in all likelihood led to death through inanition. A third animal was found dead in the lake, with ventral dermatitis but in more normal body condition. Post mortem examination revealed hyperaemic gastric and intestinal mucosa and a heavy nematode burden, blocking the alimentary canal. This is the first report of fatal parasitosis in this species and may be indicative of growing environmental pressures on the species.


Ambystoma taylori, amphibian, caudata, parasitosis, mexico alchichica

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