Apart from isolated surveys, there is a lack of information regarding the parasite fauna of serpents (snakes) in South Africa. In an attempt to contribute to the knowledge, the dissertation focusses on the identification of a total of 227 helminth and 3 pentastome specimens which were collected following dissection from thirty-nine preserved puff adders (Bitis arietans) from reptile collections of South African museums. The puff adder specimens originated from various localities in South Africa. Identification of helminth and pentastome specimens was based on non-molecular, conventional morphological criteria with the appropriate use of relevant taxonomic literature. Of the 227 helminths 212 (93.4 %) were nematodes and 15 (6.6 %) were metacestodes. Of the 212 nematodes, 208 (98.1 %) were identified as ascaridoids of which 160 belonged to the genera Hexametra (n=122), Ophidascaris (n=19) and Polydelphis (n=19). Because of their deteriorated condition, 48 ascaridoids could not be identified to a lower taxon level. Four (1.9 %) of the 212 nematodes were identified as diaphanocephaloids of the genus Kalicephalus. The fifteen metacestodes were identified as plerocercoids. The pentastome specimens sampled from a single puff adder were identified as Raillietiella boulengeri.
The helminth and pentastome spectrum identified is in accordance with published records.