Endoparasites of pet reptiles and amphibians from exotic pet shows in Texas, United States. Academic Article uri icon


  • Reptiles and amphibians are becoming increasingly more common in the exotic pet trade and as such veterinary care is also rising. Parasitic infections can pose a serious threat to pet reptiles and amphibians and are a common finding in these exotic pets. The purpose of the present study was to determine the species composition of parasites among reptiles and amphibians entering the pet industry. Excreta were collected from 283 reptiles and amphibians (181 geckos, 23 chameleons, 21 frogs, 16 tortoises, 11 snakes, 1 caiman, and 31 other lizard species), representing 58 different species. Samples were collected from animals being sold at exotic pet shows in Texas, USA, where breeders from throughout the United States gathered to showcase their exotic pets. Excreta samples were tested using double centrifugation flotation with Sheather's sucrose solution. Endoparasites were identified in 51.9% of samples. The most prevalent helminth parasite among reptiles and amphibians were Pharyngodonidae (44.5%) nematodes. Oocysts of coccidians such as Isospora, Eimeria, and Choleoeimeria, and cysts of the ciliate Nyctotherus were also identified. The prevalence rates of endoparasites among animal groups ranged from 0 to 87.5%. The highest prevalence of infection was found in Testudines (87.5%), followed by Chamaeleonidae (87%), other lizards (76.7%), Amphibia (71.4%), Serpentes (63.6%), and then Gekkonidae (55.2%). No endoparasites were detected in the one Crocodylia sampled. Our results show that parasitic infections, many of which can cause clinical disease and mortality, are common in exotic reptiles and amphibians being sold or traded as pets in the United States, underlining the need for veterinary care and routine diagnostic screening for parasitic infections.

published proceedings

  • Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports

altmetric score

  • 2.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Ellerd, R., Saleh, M. N., Luksovsky, J. L., & Verocai, G. G.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Ellerd, Rachel||Saleh, Meriam N||Luksovsky, Joe L||Verocai, Guilherme G

publication date

  • January 2022