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Describing intermediate host snails in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines: a phenetic analysis

Research Paper | September 1, 2018

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Johara F. Aquino, Sharon Rose M. Tabugo

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Int. J. Biosci.13( 3), 58-67, September 2018

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/13.3.58-67


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Many species of freshwater snails served as intermediate hosts of highly infective fluke (trematode) larvae of the genus Schistosoma which cause Schistosomiasis however, the nature of populations remained ambiguous. This study shed light on the nature of populations of intermediate hosts snails from two barangays: Curvada and Tiacungan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. This study determined and described species composition of populations and correlates positive and negative infected snails with size and shape morphology. Phenetic analysis was used to describe and delineate morphology of snails based on important shell characters. A total of 42 characters were used to construct the character matrix. The important characters in species delineation were mainly on the suture, last or body whorl width, color, basal lip, shell size, body whorl banding patterns, spire coloration and the presence of spines. The generated phenogram revealed the existence of two possible clusters based on overall phenotypic similarity. Results revealed the presence of five (5) morphotypes belonging to three genera: Oncomelania, Tricula and Thiara, which was contrary to local knowledge that a single genus was the sole intermediate host snail. Noteworthy, an important character that helped in species delineation was body whorl banding patterns. Shell size was evidently reduced in infected populations. Parasite infected snails has narrow body whorl, arch-shaped apex and pronounced narrow apertural opening.


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Describing intermediate host snails in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines: a phenetic analysis

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