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Cottonmouths are important predators of shrews, other small mammals, snakes, fish, amphibians, and turtles. Young cottonmouths are also prey to larger predators.  Cottonmouths are carriers of many types of parasites. Dasymetra is a digenetic trematode genus that occurs in cottonmouths and are usually located in the esophagus or mouth. Ochetosoma ancistrodontis and Ochetosoma aniarun are digenetic trematodes that are usually found in the mouth and esophagus, especially in the tissue folds. Another parasite found in cottonmouths is Pneumatophilus foliaformis, which is a digenetic trematode located in the lungs and trachea. Proteocephalus marenzelleri and Proteocephalus perspicua are cestodes found in the distal and proximal one-third of the small intestines of the cottonmouth. Kiricephalus coarctatus and Porocephalus crotali are pentastomids that can be found in the lungs of cottonmouths. These parasites can cause infections in the lungs of cottonmouths but cause no inflammation in the lungs.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Dasymetra conferta
  • Ochetosoma ancistrodontis
  • Ochetosoma aniarum
  • Pneumatophilus foliaformis
  • Pneumatophilus leidyi
  • Proteocephalus marenzelleri
  • Proteocephalus perspicua
  • Ophidascaris labiatopapillosa
  • Kiricephalus coarctatus
  • Porocephalus crotali


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Source: Animal Diversity Web

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