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EN
One hundred-fifty sand lizards from various localities in Poland have been dissected, yielding 17 species of parasites: 6 species of adult trematodes, 3 metacercariae, 1 cestode larva, 3 adult nematodes, 2 nematode larvae and 2 species of acarines. Only 3 species (Plagiorchis mentulatus, Metaplagiorchis molini and Ophionyssus saurarum ) are specific parasites of lizards, one (Rhabdias fuscovenosa) is a specific parasite of other reptiles, the remaining species are common parasites of amphibians or other vertebrates. Adult parasites were found exclusively in the alimentary tract, larvae in the wall of intestine, body cavity and parenchymatous organs, acarina on the body surface. Anatomo-pathological changes due to parasite infection were sporadically noted. Influence of geographical region on infection of lizards was noted as well as the strong bearing of host age and sex on parasites. These phenomena are interpreted on the basis of host behaviour.
PL
Powszechnie wykorzystywaną cechą do rozróżniania jaszczurek z rodziny Lacertidae żyjących w Polsce - jaszczurki zwinki Lacerta agilis i jaszczurki żyworodnej Zootoca vivipara - jest liczba i układ tarczek zanozdrzowych. Cechę tę wymieniają niemal wszyscy autorzy kluczy i atlasów płazów i gadów Polski, mimo że już od dawna wiadomo o występujących odchyleniach od normalnego układu tej cechy. W przeprowadzonych badaniach wykazano, że omawiana cecha charakteryzuje się bardzo dużą zmiennością zarówno w przypadku jaszczurki zwinki, jak i jaszczurki żyworodnej. Tak częste występowanie nietypowych układów i liczby tarczek zanozdrzowych nie powinno kwalifikować tej cechy jako charakterystycznej i taksonomicznej, ponieważ może to być przyczyną wielu błędnych oznaczeń osobników do gatunku
EN
Differentiation between the two species of lizards from the family Lacertidae occurring in Poland - the sand lizard Lacerta agilis and the common (or viviparous) lizard Zootoca vivipara - is often difficult for the laymen. In popular books and reptile species identification keys, a simple method of species identification is presented. This method is based on the determination of the number and arrangement of shields located behind the nasal aperture of lizards. The method is commonly recommended although it has long been known that the pattern of shields varies. The research presented in this paper show that deviations from this characteristic are common in Polish populations of lizards. Every third individual has a different pattern of shields compared to the typical one. Therefore, the number and arrangement of shields behind the nasal aperture should not be regarded as taxonomic features. Application of this method may lead to many mistakes in species identification
EN
Sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) were trapped and examined for ticks from May to September in 2002 and 2003 in Northeastern Poland. A total of 233 Ixodes ricinus (L.) ticks (76 larvae and 157 nymphs) was found on 31 of 235 captured lizards (13.2%). The tick infestation is relatively low compared to that of mammals and passerine birds from the same area (Siński et al. 2006, Gryczyńska et al. 2002). Tick infestation depended on the month of capture, being the highest in spring. In autumn no ticks were recorded on any of the captured lizards. The oldest lizards carried the highest number of ticks but no differences related to sex of the host were found. All the collected ticks were analysed by PCR for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the etiological agents of Lyme disease. Spirochetes were detected in 11 out of 233 (4.7%) ticks tested. Genetic analysis confirmed that the spirochetes are members of the Borrelia afzelii, B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto genospecies. Mixed infection were not detected. The prevalence of infection was analysed in relation to months of the capture, age and sex of the lizards, but differences were not statistically significant. The obtained results suggest that lizards are probably not B. burgdorferi reservoirs, but further studies are required to confirm this.
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