Biodiversity and parasites of wildlife: helminths of Australasian marsupials

Trends Parasitol. 2015 Apr;31(4):142-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 Nov 26.


Despite current attempts to document the extent of biodiversity on Earth, significant problems exist in fully documenting the helminth parasites of wildlife. Using the Australasian marsupials as an example, we examine some of these difficulties, including challenges in collecting uncommon host species, the ongoing description of new species of marsupials, the presence of cryptic species, and the decline in taxonomic expertise in Australia. Although optimistic global predictions have been made concerning the rate of discovery and description of new species of animals, these predictions may not apply in the case of specific groups of animals such as the Australasian marsupials.

Keywords: Australasia; biodiversity; helminths; marsupials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Distribution
  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / parasitology*
  • Australia
  • Biodiversity*
  • Helminthiasis, Animal / parasitology*
  • Helminths / classification*
  • Helminths / physiology
  • Marsupialia / parasitology*
  • Phylogeny