The fungus Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii was identified as the cause of fatal, multifocal, heterophilic dermatitis in four freshwater aquatic captive-bred tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatum). Pale, 1- to 4-mm focal lesions involving individual scales, occurred primarily on the head and dorsum. Histology showed multifocal coagulation necrosis of the epidermis, with marked heterophilic infiltration without involvement of the underlying dermis. Septate, irregularly branched hyphae, and clusters of 4- to 8- by 2- to 3-μm rod-shaped cells (arthroconidia) were present within the lesions and in a superficial crust. Failure to maintain an acidic environment was likely a predisposing factor in the development of these lesions.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1