Two hundred and four rabbits from 8 Macaronesian islands (Pico, San Jorge, San Miguel, Terceira, and Flores from Azores Archipelago; Tenerife and Alegranza from Canary Islands; and Madeira from Madeira Archipelago) were examined for helminth parasites between 1995 and 2000. Three species of cestodes, Taenia pisiformis (larvae), Andrya cuniculi, and Mosgovoyia ctenoides, and 5 species of nematodes, Trichuris leporis, Graphidium strigosum, Trichostrongylus retortaeformis, Passalurus ambiguus, and Dermatoxys hispaniensis, were identified. Only 3 species (M. ctenoides, T. retortaeformis, and P. ambiguus) were regularly distributed over the 3 archipelagos. Taenia pisiformis was not collected in Madeira, nor was A. cuniculi in the Azores and G. strigosum in the Canary Islands. Trichuris leporis and D. hispaniensis were only found in Madeira. Significant differences in the general prevalence of the nematodes G. strigosum and T. retortaeformis were detected between Azores and Madeira. The prevalence of T. retortaeformis differs significantly between the Azores and the Canaries and that of P. ambiguus was higher in Madeira than in Azores and Canaries. The helminth richness found in the wild rabbit in these Macaronesian archipelagos was very low compared with the Palearctic helminth fauna of this host. The wild rabbit was introduced from the Iberian Peninsula into different Macaronesian islands. Helminths introduced with Oryctolagus cuniculus into these islands also are commonly found in Iberian wild rabbits, which are excellent colonizers, as demonstrated in this study.

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