Korean J Parasitol.  2009 Mar;47(1):13-17. 10.3347/kjp.2009.47.1.13.

A Survey of Dung Beetles Infected with Larval Nematodes with Particular Note on Copris lunaris Beetles as a Vector for Gongylonema sp. in Iran

  • 1Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. molavig@yahoo.com
  • 2Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran.
  • 3Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Medical Sciences/Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.


Dung beetles (family Scarabaeidae) are one of the largest families of beetles worldwide. Due to biological behavior of these arthropods, they are considered to play an important role in the life cycle of some helminths. In the present study, dung beetles collected from cattle pastures in rural areas of Ardabil province, north-west of Iran were examined for infection with larval stages of helminths. According to the results, nematodes of 2 genera were identified including Rhabditis and Gongylonema. The more common species was Rhabditis sp. which was found in 9 species of beetles. Out of 15 different species of dung beetles, Copris lunaris was the only scarabaeid to be found naturally infected with the larval stages of Gongylonema sp. Our new findings introduce C. lunaris as a potential biological vector for transmission of Gongylonema sp. to vertebrates in the surveyed region.


Gongylonema; Rhabditis; dung beetles; vector; Iran
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