ECTOPARASITIC FAUNA OF WALL GECKOS ON UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKA UNN

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ABSTRACT

Wall geckos are nocturnal lizards of the family Gekkonidae known historically to cohabitate successfully with man. Due to this relationship, concerns have been raised as to whether these lizards could be mobile vessels for parasites and disease causing pathogens that could pose an issue to public health. Wall geckos were collected from three different settings (Botanical garden, Departments and Residential Halls) of the University Nigeria main campus and examined for the presence of ectoparasites. Of the 103 geckos examined, 69 (67%) were infested with parasites of the species Geckobia leonilae and Geckobia bataviensis. Infestation was not localized or restricted to a particular body part but rather spread all over the gecko’s body. There was no association between the location of the wall geckos sampled and parasite infestation. Rather, there was a significant difference in parasite infestation and the sex of the wall geckos. Even though there is no known public health importance of these ectoparasites, further studies involving advanced technologies could help identify the possibility of these parasites transmitting disease causing pathogens to human beings and livestock.

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