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First report of Mesocestoides sp. tetrathridia (Cyclophyllidea: mesocestoididae) in the Texas alligator lizard, Gerrhonotus liocephalus (Sauria: Anguidae), from Coahuila, Mexico.

Tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides Vaillant, 1863, have been reported from a number of North American lizards (McAllister, 1988; Goldberg and Bursey, 1990a, 1990b; McAllister et al., 1991). However, these enigmatic cestodes have not been reported previously from alligator lizards of the genus Gerrhonotus (Anguidae). Herein, I report a new host and distributional record for Mesocestoides sp.

Fifteen Texas alligator lizards, Gerrhonotus liocephalus Wiegmann, 1828 (six males, nine females; [bar.x] [+ or -] SEM snout-vent length 118.7 [+ or -] 1.1, range 44-153 mm), were collected between July 1955 and August 1970 from sites in Brewster County, Texas (N=9), and the states of Coahuila (N=3) and Oaxaca (N=3), Mexico. These lizards, fixed in 10 percent formalin and stored in 70 percent ethanol, were borrowed from the University of New Mexico Museum of Southwestern Biology (UNM). Methods for examining and processing hosts and parasites follow McAllister et al. (1991)

One of 15 (seven percent) G. liocephalus was found to harbor tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides sp. Five free worms were recovered from the coelomic cavity of an adult female (snout-vent length 141mm; UNM 23642) taken on 16 June 1969 at a place 6.4 km. E and 1.6 km. N San Ysidro Mine, Sierra Del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico. No encapsulated tetrathyridia were observed in tissues of this lizard.

Tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides sp. have been reported previously from other anguids, including a northern alligator lizard, Elgaria coerulea (Voge, 1953) and two of 30 (seven percent) San Diego alligator lizards, E. multicarinata webbii (Telford, 1970), both from California. The present survey documents the first time tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides sp. have been reported from the genus Gerrhonotus. In addition, although the genus Mesocestoides is thought to be cosmopolitan in distribution (Schmidt, 1986), this represents the first time the parasite has been reported from Mexico.

Voucher specimens of Mesocestoides sp. from G. liocephalus are deposited in the United States National Parasite Collection, Beltsville, Maryland as USNM Helm. Coll. no. 81866. I thank Alexis L. Schuler, Assistant Curator (UNM), for allowing me to examine the G. liocephalus.


Goldberg, S. R., and C. R. Bursey. 1990a. Prevalence of larval cestodes (Mesocestoides sp.) in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis biseriatus (Iguanidae), from southern California. Bull. So. California Acad. Sci., 89:42-48.

_____. 1990b. Gastrointestinal helminths of the Yarrow spiny lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii jarrovii Cope. Amer. Midland Nat., 124:360-365.

McAllister, C. T. 1988. Mesocestoides sp. tetrathyridia (Cestoidea: Cyclophyllidea) in the iguanid lizards, Cophosaurus texanus texanus and Sceloporus olivaceous, from Texas. J. Wildlife Dis., 24:160-163.

McAllister, C. T., J. E. Cordes, D. B. Conn, J. Singleton, and J. M. Walker. 1991. Helminth parasites of unisexual and bisexual whiptail lizards (Teiidae) in North America. V. Mesocestoides sp. tetrathyridia (Cestoidea: Cyclophyllidea) from four species of Cnemidophorus. J. Wildlife Dis., 27:in press.

Schmidt, G. D. 1986. Handbook of tapeworm identification. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 675 pp.

Telford, S. R., Jr. 1970. A comparative study of endoparasitism among some California lizard populations. Amer. Midland Nat., 83:516-554.

Voge, M. 1953. New host records for Mesocestoides (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea) in California. Amer. Midland Nat., 49:249-251.


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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:McAllister, Chris T.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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