Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Infection of red deer by parasites in South-Western Poland (Lower Silesian Wilderness).


The objective of the study was to determine the composition of the fauna of parasites and the state of infestation by parasites in red deer living in the Lower Silesian wilderness. In order to identify the stomach and intestinal nematodes, the abomasa of nine red deer harvested in the Ruszów Forest District were subjected to full helminthological dissection, coupled with sedimentation of the content. The obtained sediments were preserved in 1-2% formaldehyde solution. In the lab, the preserved sediments from the abomasa were separately diluted in water, thoroughly stirred, and a sample of one-tenth was collected from each. Each sample was then checked in small portions, and all nematodes were isolated. The nematodes collected were preserved in 75% ethyl alcohol with 5% addition of glycerol. In order to determine the infestation by pulmonary nematodes and by trematodes, 73 samples of red deer feces were examined using decantation and Baermann methods. The intensity of invasion was measured as the number of larvae found in 3 g of feces. Additionally, 10×10 cm samples of skin and subcutaneous connective tissue were taken from the back regions of 14 red deer, and parasites were isolated from them. A total of ten species of parasites typical of red deer were found: five species of stomach and intestinal nematodes - Spiculopteragia boehmi, Ostertagia leptospicularis, Ostertagia kolchida, Spiculopteragia mathevossiani and Aonchotheca (Capillaria) bovis; three species of pulmonary nematodes - Elaphostrongylus cervi, Varestrongylus sagittatus and Dictyocaulus eckerti; one species of nematode living in tissues - Onchocerca flexuosa, as well as a gadfly Hypoderma diana. Moreover, two alien, invasive species were found: Ashworthius sidemi - a nematode originating from south-eastern Asia and Fascioloides magna - an American trematode. Both of them pose a threat to wild and domestic ungulates. Further research is necessary to determine the extent of infestation concentrations caused by the aforementioned parasites.