Checklist of the helminth parasites of vertebrates in Costa Rica

Beatriz Rodríguez-Ortíz, Luis García-Prieto, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce de León
2014 Revista de Biología Tropical  
Helminth parasites of vertebrates have been studied in Costa Rica for more than 50 years. Survey work on this group of parasites is far from complete. We assembled a database with all the records of helminth parasites of wild and domestic vertebrates in Costa Rica. Information was obtained from different sources such as literature search (all published accounts) and parasite collections. Here we present a checklist with a parasitehost list as well as a host-parasite list. Up to now, 303 species
more » ... to now, 303 species have been recorded, including 81 species of digeneans, 23 monogeneans, 63 cestodes, 12 acanthocephalans, and 124 nematodes. In total, 108 species of vertebrates have been studied for helminths in Costa Rica (31 species of fishes, 7 amphibians, 14 reptiles, 20 birds, and 36 mammals). This represents only 3.8% of the vertebrate fauna of Costa Rica since about 2,855 species of vertebrates occur in the country. Interestingly, 58 species (19.1 %) were recorded as new species from Costa Rica and most of them are endemic to particular regions. Considering the valuable information that parasites provide because it is synergistic with all the information about the natural history of the hosts, helminth parasites of vertebrates in Costa Rica should be considered within any initiatives to accomplish the national inventory of biological resources. Starting with this compilation work, the Colección de Helmintos de Costa Rica (CHCR), hosted at the Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, has re-emerged and it is our hope that it will have the standards of quality to assure that it will become the national depository of helminths in the country. Costa Rica possesses a strong tradition in the study of parasites of domestic and wildlife vertebrates. For more than 50 years the helminth fauna of these hosts has been studied by national parasitologists and microbiologists (see for example , Brenes-Madrigal and Jiménez-Quirós 1959 , Brenes-Madrigal et al. 1959a , Brenes-Madrigal et al. 1960a , Brenes-Madrigal and Arroyo-Sancho 1962a y b, Brenes-Madrigal et al. 1966. Since the very beginning in his career, Dr. Rodrigo Brenes-Madrigal, from the Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, established a close collaboration with Dr. Eduardo Caballero and his research group from the Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to contribute to the understanding of the Costa Rican helminth parasite biodiversity and as a result, several papers were published between the late 50´s and early 80´s (see , Caballero and Brenes-Madrigal 1958 , Lamothe-Argumedo and Brenes-Madrigal 1983 . A first attempt to compile the information of the helminth parasites of Costa Rica was made by Brenes-Madrigal (1961) who presented up to that year a checklist of about 150 species described as helminth parasites of wild and domestic vertebrates as well as human beings. However, the extraordinary biological richness of Costa Rica has attracted the attention of several foreign parasitologists who have
doi:10.15517/rbt.v52i2.15249 fatcat:dcbo3vqwurdxjchdie3jxeguzm