Term of Award

Summer 2023

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

Dmitry Apanaskevich

Committee Member 2

Scott Harrison


Despite their high prevalence within shrews and other insectivorous mammals, cestodes in the order Cylophyllidea remain a largely understudied group. Shrews, given their diet of mostly arthropods, which act as intermediate hosts to many cestode parasites, are consistently infected with a diverse array of helminths. However, very little has been done to identify the global diversity of Sorex helminths. This is especially true for remote countries, like Mongolia. Therefore, as part of larger mammal and parasite survey project in Mongolia (summers of 2015 and 2016), 16 Sorex caecutiens and 4 Sorex isodon were captured and processed to obtain their helminths. Cestode species were identified through both morphological (staining and mounting) and molecular (COI and 28S gene sequencing) techniques. Results based on COI and partial 28S gene sequencing show a total of 7 unique taxa present within the two shrew species. Morphology suggests that 6 out of 7 taxa found are most likely to be previously undescribed species. Representatives of the genera Soricinia, Urocystis, Spalania, and Neoskrjabinolepis were found. Sorex isodon shrews were infected with an average of 2.5 cestode species, while Sorex caecutiens shrews were infected with a slightly lower average of 2.18 species. The possible influence of several host factors on the presence/absence of cestode species was also examined.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Friday, June 30, 2028