Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Date of this Version


Document Type



Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2016) band 13: 361-375.


Copyright 2016, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale). Used by permission


Parasite diversity in and among various species of mammals within Mongolia is still poorly understood. The current paper focusses on a small part of the results of the Mongolian Vertebrate Parasite Project (MVPP), which entailed a broad-scale biodiversity survey of the vertebrates and their parasites of the Gobi and Altai regions of Mongolia. We report on the prevalence and morphological variation of larval cestodes of the family Taeniidae that occurred in small mammals that were collected from 2009-2012 from various locations in southern Mongolia. From these metacestodes, we studied both large and small rostellar hooks and analyzed both size and shape using univariate and multivariate morphometric statistical methods, specifically principal components analysis (PCA). Of species representing the four mammalian orders collected and examined for parasites, less than 1% of animals examined were infected with larval cestodes of the family Taeniidae. We identified nine species of larval cestodes from this work, including seven species of Taenia, one species of Versteria, and one species of Echinococcus. Principal component analysis of eight characters of hooks from both rows 1 and 2 (large and small hooks, respectively) showed that loadings on PC-I appeared to be mostly a size component with PC-II potentially indicating shape; furthermore, our results indicate that, as blade-length increased guardwidth and handle-length decreased leading to observed differences in overall hook-shape. This work provides an update to the previous studies by GANZORIG (1996-1997) and other mammalogists and parasitologists in Mongolia.