Blood parasites in two co-existing species of lizards (Zootoca vivipara and Lacerta agilis).

Research paper by Viktória V Majláthová, Igor I Majláth, Božena B Haklová, Martin M Hromada, Anna A Ekner, Marcin M Antczak, Piotr P Tryjanowski

Indexed on: 28 Jul '10Published on: 28 Jul '10Published in: Parasitology Research


We investigated the occurrence of blood parasites of two lizard species: the common or viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) in western Poland. Selected traits of lizard body morphology were studied with respect to the presence and intensity of haematozoan infection in blood samples collected from 218 adult lizards; 88 of the common lizard and 130 of the sand lizard. Haemogregarinid blood parasites were found to be the common parasite of both lizard species in studied locality with prevalence 39.8 (95% CL, 29.5-50.8) for Z. vivipara and 22.3 (95% CL, 15.5-30.4) for L. agilis. Incidence of parasitemia did not differ between sexes and was not correlated with morphological traits or presence of ectoparasites--Ixodes ricinus ticks. However, a significant difference between the two species of lizards was a greater frequency of haemogregarinid parasitism in Z. vivipara.