Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 18, 2017

Nematode parasites of the Chilean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus chilensis (Phoenicopteridae) from Central Argentina, with a description of a new species of Tetrameres (Tetrameridae)

Verónica Núñez, Fabiana B. Drago, María Celina Digiani and Lia I. Lunaschi
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


During the summer of 2013, several specimens of Phoenicopterus chilensis (Phoenicopteridae) were found dead from unknown causes, in lakes from the endorheic system "Encadenadas del Oeste", Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Two species of Nematoda were recovered from the proventriculus, one of them new for science. The tetramerid Tetrameres (Tetrameres) salina n. sp. is mainly characterized by having reduced pseudolabia, lips absent, six bifid teeth, males with lateral alae, four rows of somatic spines and length ratio of spicules 1:12–32, and large females with eggs lacking polar filaments. The acuariid, Echinuria skrjabinensis is described and illustrated, this finding represent the second report of this nematode in Argentina and the first record in flamingos. This is the first record of helminths parasitizing wild Chilean Flamingos, but it is not possible to ensure that they accomplish their life cycle in this system of lakes, because the migratory movements of the population of flamingos studied are unknown.


The authors express their gratitude to Cecilia Chiale and Luis Pagano by assistance in collecting the hosts, and to Florencia Fortini by their help in the helminthological prospection and screening. The present study was funded by CIC (Res. Nº 833/14), UNLP (11/N 751) and CONICET (PIP 0006).


Anderson R.C. (Ed.) 2000. Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates: Their Development and Transmission. 2nd Edition. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 65010.1079/9780851994215.0001Search in Google Scholar

Antas P.T.Z. 1994. Migration and other movements among the lower Parana River valley wetlands, Argentina, and the south Brazil/Pantanal wetlands. Bird Conservation International, 4, 181–19010.1017/S0959270900002768Search in Google Scholar

Boero J.J., Led J.E. 1968. El parasitismo de la fauna autóctona. III. Los parásitos de las aves argentinas. Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, La Plata, 10, 97–129. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Calcagno A., Fioriti M.J., López H.L., Razquin M.E., Pedrozo F., Vigliano P., Rey C., Quirós R. 1995. Catálogo de lagos y embalses de la Argentina, Ministerio de Economía, Obras y Servicios Públicos, Secretaria de Obras Públicas, Subsecretaria de Recursos Hídricos, Buenos Aires, Argentina, pp. 61. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Cremonte F., Digiani M.C., Bala L.O., Navone G.T. 2001. Tetrameres (Tetrameres) megaphasmidiata n. sp. (Nematoda: Tetrameridae), a parasite of the two–banded plover, Charadrius falklandicus, and white–rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis, from Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Parasitology, 87, 148–151. 10.1645/0022-3395.Search in Google Scholar

del Hoyo J.C. 1992. Family Phoenicopteridae. In: (Eds J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott and J. Sargatal). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 536–628Search in Google Scholar

Díaz J.I., Panisse G., Escudero G., Kinsella J.M. 2011. New host and geographical records and morphological details for Echinuria skrjabiniensis (Nematoda, Acuariidae) from shorebirds in Argentina. Acta Parasitologica, 56, 315–319. 10.2478/s11686-011-0063-5Search in Google Scholar

Digiani M.C. 2000. Tetrameres (Gynaecophila) aspicula n. sp. (Nematoda: Tetrameridae), a proventricular parasite of the white–faced ibis Plegadis chihi in Argentina. Systematic Parasitology 47, 111–11710.1023/A:1006430304969Search in Google Scholar

Digiani M.C., Cremonte F. 2001. New host and locality records for Tetrameres(Gynaecophila) spirospiculum Pinto & Vicente, 1995 (Nematoda: Tetrameridae), with new morphological data. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 96, 339–34110.1590/S0074-02762001000300009Search in Google Scholar

Fox J.G., Snyder S.B., Schmidt G.D., Campbell L.H. 1974. Infection with the nematode Streptocara incognita in the Chilean Flamingo. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 10, 66–69. 10.7589/0090-3558-10.1.66Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Georgiev B.B., Angelov A., Vasileva G.P., Sánchez M.I., Hortas F., Mutafchiev Y., et al. 2014. Larval helminths in the invasive American brine shrimp Artemia franciscana throughout its annual cycle. Acta Parasitologica, 59, 380–389. 10.2478/s11686-014-0255-xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

Gibson D.I., Bray R.A., Harris E.A. (Compilers) 2005. Host–Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London. URL. in Google Scholar

Gónzalez Acuña D., Martínez Inostrosa A., Brevis Ibáñez C., Rubilar Contreras L., Galaz Leigh J. 2001. Ausencia de parásitos gastrointestinales en Flamencos Chilenos (Phoenicopterus chilensis Molina, 1782) juveniles en el Salar de Surire. Boletín Chileno de Ornitología, 8, 27–30. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Hervías Parejo S., Martínez-Carrasco C., Diaz J.I., Chitimia L., Ortiz J., Mayo E., Ruiz de Ybáñez R. 2015. Parasitic fauna of a yellow-legged gull colony in the island of Escom breras (South-eastern Mediterranean) in close proximity to a landfill site: potential effects on cohabiting species. Acta Parasitologica, 60, 290–297. 10.1515/ap-2015-0041Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Kamil S.A., Darzi M.M., Mir, M.S., Shah, S.A., Shah, S.N., Khan, F.A. 2011. Tetrameres fissispina infection in ducks from Bandipora area of Kashmir Valley. Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 66, 43–47Search in Google Scholar

Kinsella J.M., Forrester D.J. 2008. Tetrameridosis. In: (Eds C.T Atkinson, N.J Thomas. and B. Hunter) Parasitic diseases of wild birds. Willey Blackwell, Iowa, 376–38310.1002/9780813804620.ch21Search in Google Scholar

Miquelarena A.M., López H.L. 1995. Fishes of the lagunas Encadenadas (Province of Buenos Aires, Argentine) a wetland of international importance. Freshwater Forum, 5, 48–53Search in Google Scholar

Mollhagen T.R. 1976. A study of the systematics and hosts of the parasitic nematode genus Tetrameres (Habronematoidea: Tetrameridae). PhD. Thesis. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA, 545Search in Google Scholar

Mollhagen T.R. 1991 A study of the parasitic nematode genus Tetrameres. I. The literature, 1835–1985. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 35, 1–76.Search in Google Scholar

Mowlavi G.R, Massoud J., Mobedi, I., Gharagozlou M.J., Rezaian, M., Solaymani–Mohammadi S. 2006. Tetrameres (Tetrameres) grusi (Shumakovich, 1946) (Nematoda: Tetrameridae) in Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus) in Central Iran. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 42, 397–401. 10.7589/0090-3558-42.2.397Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Pence D.B, Mollhagen T.R., Prestwood A.K. 1975. Tetrameres (Tetrameres) tinamicola sp. n. from the crested tinamou, Eudromia elegans, with comments on the subgenus Petrowimeres (Nematoda: Tetrameridae). Journal of Parasitology, 61, 825–82910.2307/3279216Search in Google Scholar

Pérez Vigueras I. 1941. Nota sobre varios vermes encontrados en el "flamenco" (Phoenicopterus ruber). Memorias de la Sociedad Cubana de Historia Natural, 15, 327–336. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Schwerdt M.G. 2012. Estructura, composición y dinámica estacional de las comunidades de peces del sistema de las lagunas encadenadas del oeste, provincia de Buenos Aires. PhD Thesis, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Seurat L.G. 1916. Sur la quatrième mue d’un dispharage du flammant. Comptes rendus des séances de la Société de biologie et de ses filiales, 79, 439–441. (In Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Sultanov M.A., Ryzhikov K.M., Kozlov D.P. 1960. On the nematode fauna of wild birds from the mouth of the Amu–Darya. Uzbekskiy Biologicheskiy Zhurnal, 1, 58–63. (In Russian)Search in Google Scholar

Threlfall W. 1981. Helminth Parasites of an American Flamingo from Newfoundland. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 48, 89–90Search in Google Scholar

Tuggle B. N. 1983. Tetrameres grusi (Nematoda: Tetrameridae) from foster–raised Whooping Crane. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 50, 332Search in Google Scholar

Work T.M., Meteyer C.U., Cole R.A. 2004. Mortality in Laysan Ducks (Anas laysanensis) by emaciation complicated by Echinuria uncinata on Laysan Island, Hawaii, 1993. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 40, 110–114. 10.7589/0090-3558-40.1.110Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Yamaguti S. 1961. Systema Helminthum, Vol. III. The Nematodes of Vertebrates, Part. I and II. Interscience Publishers, New York & London, pp. 1261Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2016-6-29
Revised: 2017-1-25
Accepted: 2017-2-20
Published Online: 2017-4-18
Published in Print: 2017-6-1

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS