An inventory of parasites infecting the jaguar (Panthera onca) across its distribution range is relevant for the conservation of this threatened big cat. In this study, we report the occurrence of helminths in a jaguar from Mexico using morphological techniques (cleared and stained mounts and scanning electron microscopy) and partial sequences of the 28S ribosomal RNA (28S rRNA) gene and the cytochrome c oxidase 1 mitochondrial (COI) gene. We also provide an updated list of helminth species reported in jaguars in the Americas. Three helminth taxa are identified in the jaguar examined from Mexico: Toxocara cati, Physaloptera sp., and Taenia sp. The new 28S rRNA sequences of To. cati, Physaloptera sp., and Taenia sp. and the COI sequence of Taenia sp. corroborate the identity of the helminths isolated from this host. One hundred and twenty-nine records of helminths parasitizing jaguars from 49 studies up to May 2023 were identified in the Americas. In most of these studies (73.6%), helminths were identified using coproparasitological techniques. Sixteen helminths (7 nematodes, 5 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans, and 1 trematode) were identified at the species level in free-ranging and captive jaguars. The study demonstrates the value of an integrative taxonomy approach to increase the accuracy of parasite identification in wildlife, especially when helminth specimens are scarce or poorly fixed.

You do not currently have access to this content.