A DESCRIPTION OF MATUREONCICOLA VENEZUELENSIS(ACANTHOCEPHALA: OLIGACANTHORHYNCHIDAE) FROM A FERAL HOUSE CAT IN THE U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

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Abstract

A road-killed feral house cat from the U.S. Virgin Islands was parasitized by 87 acanthocephalans of the species Oncicola venezuelensisMarteau, 1977. The finding allowed for the documentation of a suitable definitive host for the species in the Virgin Islands and permits a more comprehensive description of the species, including the first of fully mature adults and completely formed eggs. Sexually mature males from the cat were 6.5-8.4 (8.0) mm long; gravid females were 13.2-18.3 (15.5) mm long. Fully formed eggs dissected from the trunk of females were 67-72 (69) μm long by 43-50 (47) μm wide. The life cycle of O. venezuelensis in the Virgin Islands is now apparent, i.e., termites serve as intermediate hosts, lizards and birds as paratenic hosts, and domestic cats as definitive hosts. Extra-intestinal infections in mongooses are likely incidental.

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