Wild-caught and market-derived adult specimens of the Dwarf Crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni, caught in forests bordering the Congo and Oubangui Rivers in the northern Congo Republic, were examined for food residues in the stomach and pentastomid infections in the lungs. Stomach content analysis revealed that Osteolaemus was an opportunistic predator, taking a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrate prey in the dry season. Three species of pentastomids infected the lungs (prevalence 81%), representing three genera (all belonging to the family Sebekidae); every specimen was identified to instar. Two species, Agema silvaepalustris and Alofia parva, were represented by substantial numbers of infective larvae. Because this instar is also thought to occur in fish intermediate hosts, we postulated that some transmission continued in the dry season. Amphibious catfish (Clarias sp.) were common in swamp forest pools and may be the putative intermediate host.
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Vol. 2000 • No. 2