Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Stephen Greiman

Committee Member 1

Vasyl Tkach

Committee Member 2

Joshua Gibson

Committee Member 3

Dmitry Apanaskevich

Committee Member 3 Email



Cestodes of shrews are largely understudied in North America, with more than half of states (USA) and provinces (Canada) having no published reports, and only 11 having greater than 2 reports. Practically no data is available from Mexico. To address this knowledge gap, we collected small mammals in the Pisgah National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, resulting in 1,165 trap nights with a 5.6% success rate of small mammals. In total we collected and screened 28 Sorex shrews, Sorex cinereus (N=19) and Sorex fumeus (N=9). Our study revealed presence of 14 species of intestinal cyclophyllidean cestodes belonging to 7 genera, 6 from the family Hymenolepididae and 1 from the Dilepididae. All hosts were infected with at least 2 tapeworm species and some harbored as many as 7 species (mean 4.1). All parasites were new geographic records. Representatives of Lineolepis, Mathevolepis, Monocercus, Soricinia, Staphylocystis, Staphylocystoides, and Urocystis were found in our survey, with the prevalence of species ranged from 3.6% to 71.4%. These taxa have been differentiated by partial 28s rDNA, and morphological evaluation (traditional light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy). We evaluated the position of taxa across and within genera using Bayesian inference. We also examined the possible impact of host species, weight, and sex on parasite community composition and discuss cestode diversity in the context of these host-level drivers.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Wednesday, April 21, 2027