Intestinal helminths of the endemic Italian hare, Lepus corsicanus (De Winton, 1898), in Sicily (Italy)
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Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, 56127, Pisa, Italy
Office for Hunting and Fishing Activities of Grosseto Regional Administration, via C. Colombo 5, 58100, Grosseto, Italy
Italian Hunting Federation, Via Salaria 298/A, 00144, Rome, Italy
Biologist, PhD, Freelancer, Bologna, Italy
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064, Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy
Online publication date: 2022-03-30
Publication date: 2022-03-30
Corresponding author
Laura Stancampiano   

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064, Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2022;33(1):98-100
The Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus De Winton, 1898) is endemic to central and southern Italy, where it lives in sympatry with Lepus europaeus in the mainland, while in Sicily L. europaeus is absent. The only report of endoparasites in L. corsicanus in Italy dates back to 2012. After a period of protection, the population density of the Italian hare in Sicily increased. This enabled new parasitological data to be collected on 27 hares which were compared with the data collected on 15 Sicilian hares from a previous study. Trichostrongylus retortaeformis, Paranoplocephala sp. and Cittotaenia (Mosgovoyia) sp. were isolated from the intestine. T. retortaeformis was the most prevalent and abundant parasite. Its abundance was significantly higher in males than in females. No age differences emerged. T. retortaeformis abundance was not related to low body mass and was significantly higher than that calculated from the data of the previous survey. At the same time aggregation, known as a regulatory factor of host-parasite relationship, was also higher in the present study. The possible biases introduced by sampling with different methods prevent any definitive conclusions. However, the relationship between L. corsicanus and its intestinal parasite biocoenosis appears to be stable and has possibly improved, in line with the improved status of the host population.
We are very grateful to Dr. Valeria Sergi and Dr. Erica Romi.
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