Printer Friendly

Parasite assemblages in centrarchid fishes from backwater habitats in southeast Texas, U.S.A.

Abstract. -- Between March, 2001 and August, 2002, 56 fishes representing nine species from the family Centrarchidae were collected from three backwater habitats in Hardin County, Texas, U.S.A. Hosts were examined for endoparasites and ectoparasites. Fifty-two fish (93%) were infected with one or more parasites. A total of 9300 parasite individuals representing five phyla were collected. These included Acanthocephala, Arthropoda (Copepoda), Platyhelminthes (Cestoidea, Trematoda, Monogenea), Nematoda, and Mollusca (glochidia larvae). The mean abundance of infection was 166.07 [+ or -] 178.18 parasites per host individual. The metacercarial stage of the trematode Posthodiplostomum minimum occurred with highest prevalence and mean abundance.

**********

Although surveys of the parasites of centrarchid fishes abound in the literature, relatively few have been conducted in Texas (Sparks 1951; Allison & McGraw 1967; Lawrence & Murphy 1967; McGraw & Allison 1967; Meade & Bedinger 1967, 1972; Underwood 1975; Gruninger et al. 1977; Ingham & Dronen 1980; Underwood & Dronen 1984) and, to the authors' knowledge, none have been conducted in the backwater habitats of southeast Texas. This report presents the results of a survey of the macroparasites of nine species of centrarchid fishes collected from three such habitats.

METHODS AND MATERIAL

Fish were collected from three backwater habitats in the Neches River Basin of southeast Texas. The collection sites (Massey Lake, Maple Slough, and Caney Slough) were all located in Hardin County, Texas. All three aquatic habitats are eutrophic with little to no littoral zone and are hypoxic for a portion of the year. Massey Lake (30[degrees]17'N, 94[degrees]10'W) is a flood plain lake formed by an abandoned channel of Village Creek (Marsh 1973). Host collections from the Maple Slough (30[degrees]30'N, 94[degrees]07'W) site were made from two oxbows along the slough located within the Jack Gore Baygall unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Caney Slough (30[degrees]15'N, 94[degrees]10'W) is a narrow stream connecting with Village Creek, and located within Village Creek State Park. Fish were collected between 9 March 2001 and 7 August 2002 using flag nets, Fike nets, and fish traps. Fish were then placed on ice and transported to the laboratory where they were labeled and frozen. Host necropsies were performed as time permitted. External surfaces, internal organs, and body cavity were examined for parasites. All parasites were preserved, stained, when necessary, and mounted for identification using standard techniques.

A total of 56 fish representing nine species and three genera were collected, including: 23 Lepomis macrochirus (bluegill sunfish), 16 Lepomis megalotis (longear sunfish), five Lepomis gulosus (warmouth sunfish), two Lepomis punctatus (spotted sunfish), one Lepomis marginatus (dollar sunfish), three Pomoxis annularus (white crappie), one Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black crappie), one Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass), and one Micropterus punctulatus (spotted bass). Additionally, three juvenile sunfish were collected that were identified as Lepomis sp.

RESULTS

Necropsies revealed that 52 of 56 (93%) fish were infected with one or more parasites. Overall abundance of infection was 166.07 [+ or -] 178.18 parasites per host. A total of 9300 parasite individuals representing five phyla were collected. Infection data for all host and parasite species are presented in Table 1. Voucher specimens were sent to the Harold W. Manter Laboratory, University of Nebraska State Museum (HWML numbers 45772-45786). This study represents the first report of several parasite species from their respective hosts in Texas (Table 1).

The parasite that occurred in the greatest number of hosts (84%) and with the greatest abundance (147.84 [+ or -] 170.37, range = 0-596) was the neascus metacercaria of the trematode Posthodiplostomum minimum. It occurred in the parenchyma of several organs throughout the body as well as the coelom and mesenteries. Other trematodes recovered were the diplostomula of Diplostomum spathaceum occurring in the eyes of L. macrochirus and L. gulosus, and Pisciamphistoma sp. from the intestines of the same two host species. Plerocercoids of the tapeworm Proteocephalus sp. were collected from L. macrochirus, L. megalotis, and L. punctatus.

Fifty-two percent of the fish hosts were infected with a total of 757 monogenetic trematodes representing four genera: Oncholeidus, Haploocleidus, Cleidodiscus, and Pterocleidus. The only host species conclusively determined to harbor all four monogeneans were L. macrochirus and M. salmoides. None of the Pomoxis sp. harbored monogeneans. Most of the monogenea were minute and difficult to work with following host freezing. Consequently, species level identification was not attempted. It was also impossible to identify each mongenean individual to genus. Therefore, prevalence and abundance values were not calculated for individual monogenean genera from each host species.

At least two species of acanthocephala were collected. Neochinorhynchus cylindratus occurred in L. megalotis, M. salmoides, and M. punctulatus. Acanthocephala belonging to the family Echinorhynchidae were recovered from a broader range of host species. Numbers of cement glands present in the male specimens could not be determined, so genus-level identification was not attempted. Cystacanth larvae were recovered from two of the three immature Lepomis sp. Only fish collected from Caney Slough were infected with acanthocephala.

Juvenile nematodes occurred in several hosts. Individuals of Contracaecum sp. were recovered from the alimentary canal of P. annularis and both Micropterus sp. Additionally several hosts harbored encysted or free nematode juveniles which could not be identified.

The parasitic copepod Ergasilus caeruleus occurred in low abundance on the gills of 18 percent of the host fish, and a single Achtheres sp. occurred on the gills of one of the L. punctatus. The gills of seven percent of the hosts were infected with small numbers of glochidia clam larvae.

CONCLUSIONS

The component parasite communities in these locations were taxonomically diverse, including at least 16 species representing five phyla and several life history strategies. It is therefore difficult to isolate any single factor as most important in structuring these communities. The parasite that occurred with highest prevalence and abundance was P. minimum, which has a complex life cycle, utilizing snails and fish as first and second intermediate hosts, and herons as definitive hosts. It can therefore be categorized as allogenic: a parasite using aquatic vertebrates as intermediate hosts and completing its life cycle in birds or mammals (Esch et al. 1988). Of the parasites identified to at least family, only two others were allogenic and both occurred with low prevalence and abundance. Contracaecum sp. matures in a variety of birds and mammals, and Diplostomum spathaceum matures in birds. All other indirect life cycle parasites were autogenic: complete their life cycles within aquatic hosts (Esch et al. 1988). These include Pisciamphistoma sp., Proteocephalus sp., the Acanthocephala, and glochidia larvae. The existence of so many indirect life cycle species indicates that food web interactions are important in structuring parasite communities of centrarchid fishes from these locations. However, the parasites occurring with second highest prevalence and abundance were the combined mongogenes. These as well as the copepods have direct life cycles, functioning independently of host trophic interactions.

Southern backwater habitats like those of this study have received little attention in terms of their parasite communities. They differ extensively in their limnological characteristics from the lakes where most ecological studies of fish parasites have been conducted in the United States. Further study of parasite communities in these habitats is certainly needed.
Table 1. Location of infection, % prevalence, mean abundance [+ or -]
standard deviation, and range (in parentheses) of infection of parasites
from centrarchid hosts. New host records for Texas are also noted.

 Host species
 L. macrochirus
Parasite taxon Location n=23

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum VO,OM[dagger] 91%
 minimum* 251.39[+ or -]184.25
 (0-596)
 Diplostomum E 13%[double dagger]
 spathaceum* 0.35[+ or -]1.11
 (0-5)
 Pisciamphistoma sp. I 4%
 0.04[+ or -]0.21
 (0-1)
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae G 74%
 18.30[+ or -]22.14
 (0-77)
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* OM 9%
 0.30[+ or -]1.26
 (0-6)
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus I -
 cylindratus -
 -
 Echinorhynchidae I 4%
 0.35[+ or -]1.67
 (0-8)
 cystacanth* OM -
 -
 -
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* I,Es,S -
 -
 -
 Unencysted larvae* E,G,I,BC -
 -
 -
 Encysted larvae* OM 4%
 0.13[+ or -]0.63
 (0-3)
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus G 22%
 caeruleus 0.61[+ or -]1.56
 (0-7)
 Achtheres sp G -
 -
 -
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* G 4%
 0.04[+ or -]0.21
 (0-1)

 Host species
 L. megalotis L. gulosus
Parasite taxon n=16 n=5

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum 88% 80%
 minimum* 101.81[+ or -]135.18 24.60[+ or -]22.53
 (0-454) (0-54)
 Diplostomum - 20%[double dagger]
 spathaceum* - 0.40[+ or -]0.89
 - (0-2)
 Pisciamphistoma sp. - 20%[double dagger]
 - 0.20[+ or -] 0.45
 - (0-1)
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae 31% 40%
 2.19[+ or -]4.97 6.0[+ or -]10.39
 (0-19) (0-24)
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* 6% -
 0.06[+ or -]0.25 -
 (0-1) -
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus 6% -
 cylindratus 0.13[+ or -]0.50 -
 (0-2) -
 Echinorhynchidae 19% -
 1.31[+ or -]4.25 -
 (0-17) -
 cystacanth* - -
 - -
 - -
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* - -
 - -
 - -
 Unencysted larvae* 6% -
 0.06[+ or -]0.25 -
 (0-1) -
 Encysted larvae* 6% 20%
 [section] 0.40[+ or -]0.89
 [section] (0-2)
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus 19%[double dagger] -
 caeruleus 0.63[+ or -]1.41 -
 (0-4) -
 Achtheres sp - -
 - -
 - -
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* 6%[double dagger] -
 0.50[+ or -]2.00 -
 (0-8) -

 Host species
 L. punctatus L. marginatus
Parasite taxon n=2 n=1

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum 100% 100%[double dagger]
 minimum* 239.50[+ or -]190.21 35
 (105-374)
 Diplostomum - -
 spathaceum* - -
 - -
 Pisciamphistoma sp. - -
 - -
 - -
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae 50% 100%
 9.00[+ or -]12.73 11
 (0-18)
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* 50%[double dagger] -
 1.50[+ or -]2.12 -
 (0-3) -
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus - -
 cylindratus - -
 - -
 Echinorhynchidae 50% -
 1.00[+ or -]1.41 -
 (0-2) -
 cystacanth* - -
 - -
 -
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* - -
 - -
 - -
 Unencysted larvae* - -
 - -
 - -
 Encysted larvae* - -
 - -
 - -
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus 50%[double dagger] -
 caeruleus 0.50[+ or -]0.71 -
 (0-1) -
 Achtheres sp 50%[double dagger] -
 0.50[+ or -]0.71 -
 (0-1) -
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* 50%[double dagger] -
 1.50[+ or -]2.12 -
 (0-3) -

 Host species
 Lepomis sp. P. annularis
Parasite taxon n=3 n=3

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum 100% -
 minimum* 10.33[+ or -]5.03 -
 (5-15)
 Diplostomum - -
 spathaceum* - -
 - -
 Pisciamphistoma sp. - -
 - -
 - -
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae 33% -
 5.00[+ or -]8.66 -
 (0-15) -
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* - -
 - -
 - -
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus - -
 cylindratus - -
 - -
 Echinorhynchidae 67% -
 3.33[+ or -]4.93 -
 (0-9) -
 cystacanth* 67% -
 3.00[+ or -]3.00 -
 (0-6) -
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* - 33%
 - 0.33[+ or -]0.58
 - (0-1)
 Unencysted larvae* - 33%
 - 0.33[+ or -]0.58
 - (0-1)
 Encysted larvae* 33% -
 0.33[+ or -]0.58 -
 (0-1) -
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus 33% -
 caeruleus 0.33[+ or -]0.58 -
 (0-1) -
 Achtheres sp - -
 - -
 - -
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* - -
 - -
 - -

 Host species
 P. nigromaculatus M.salmoides
Parasite taxon n=1 n=1

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum - 100%
 minimum* - 135
 -
 Diplostomum - -
 spathaceum* - -
 - -
 Pisciamphistoma sp. - -
 - -
 - -
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae - 100%
 - 220
 -
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* - -
 - -
 - -
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus - 100%
 cylindratus - 21
 -
 Echinorhynchidae - 100%
 - 1
 -
 cystacanth* - -
 - -
 - -
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* - 100%
 - 1
 -
 Unencysted larvae* - 100%
 - 53
 -
 Encysted larvae* 100% -
 23 -
 -
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus - -
 caeruleus - -
 - -
 Achtheres sp - -
 - -
 - -
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* 100%[double dagger] -
 1 -
 -

 Host species
 M. punctulatus All Centrarchids
Parasite taxon n=1 n=56

Platyhelminthes
 Digenea
 Posthodiplostomum 100% 84%
 minimum* 65 147.84[+ or -]170.37
 (0-596)
 Diplostomum - 7%
 spathaceum* - 0.18[+ or -]0.77
 - (0-5)
 Pisciamphistoma sp. - 4%
 - 0.04[+ or -]0.20
 - (0-1)
 Monogenea
 Ancyrocephalidae 100% 52%
 7 13.52[+ or -]32.60
 (0-220)
 Cestoidea
 Proteocephalus sp.* - 7%
 - 0.20[+ or -]0.90
 - (0-6)
 Acanthocephala
 Neochinorhynchus 100% 5%
 cylindratus 5 0.50[+ or -]2.88
 5 (0-21)
 Echinorhynchidae - 14%
 0.75[+ or -]2.76
 - (0-17)
 cystacanth* - 4%
 - 0.16[+ or -]0.89
 - (0-6)
 Nematoda
 Contracaecum sp.* 100% 5%
 2 0.07[+ or -]0.30
 2 (0-2)
 Unencysted larvae* - 5%
 - 0.98[+ or -]7.08
 - (0-53)
 Encysted larvae* 100% 11%
 34 1.15[+ or -]5.49
 34 (0-34)
 Arthropoda
 Copepoda
 Ergasilus - 18%
 caeruleus - 0.46[+ or -]1.26
 - (0-7)
 Achtheres sp - 2%
 - 0.02[+ or -]0.13
 - (0-1)
 Mollusca
 Bivalvia
 Glochidia* - 7%
 - 0.23[+ or -]1.14
 - (0-8)

*Larval stage
[dagger] BC = body cavity, E = eye, Es = esophagus, G=gill, I =
intestine, OM = organ mesentery, S=stomach, VO = various organs
[double dagger] New host record for this host in Texas
[section] too numerous to count accurately


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project was partially funded by a Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant. We thank the following students for their involvement in various aspects of the project: Sherry Stern, Rachel Goats, Crissy Hamm, Tj Lacy, Natascha Leidensdorf, Dennis Roberts, and Robert Rose. We also thank Dr. Paul Nicoletto and Dr. Ana Christensen for assistance with field work as well as Dr. Richard Harrel and Dr. Christensen for reviewing the manuscript. Fish collections were made under permits from the United States Department of the Interior and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

LITERATURE CITED

Allison, T. C. & J. L. McGraw. 1967. The helminth parasites of centrarchidae from the Navasota River System of Texas. Texas J. Sci., 19(3): 326-328.

Esch, G. W., C. R. Kennedy, A. O. Bush & J. M. Aho. 1988. Patterns in helminth communities in freshwater fish in Great Britain: alternative strategies for colonization. Parasitology, 96: 519-532.

Gruninger, T. L., C. E. Murphy, & J. C. Britton. 1977. Macroparasites of fish from Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas. Southwest. Nat., 22(4): 525-535.

Ingham, R. E. & N. O. Dronon. 1980. Endohelminth parasites from largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, in Belton and Livingston Reservoirs, Central Texas. Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Wash., 47: 140-142.

Lawrence, J. L. & C. E. Murphy. 1967. Parasites of five species of fish from Benbrook Lake, Tarrant County, Texas. Tex. J. Sci., 19(2): 164-174.

Marsh, C. E. 1973. Seasonal abundance and community structure of algae and rotifers in Massey Lake, southeast Texas. Unpub. M.S. thesis, Lamar Univ., Beaumont, Texas, 142 pp.

McGraw, J. L. & T. C. Allison. 1967. Helminth parasites of centrarchidae from the Little River system of Texas. Southwest. Nat., 12(3):332-334.

Meade, T. G. & C. A. Bedinger. 1967. Posthodiplostomum minimum (Trematoda: Diplostomidae) in fishes of Madison County, Eastern Texas. Southwest. Nat., 12(3):334-335.

Meade, T. G. & C. A. Bedinger. 1972. Helminth parasitism in some species of fresh water fishes of eastern Texas. Southwest. Nat., 16(3 & 4):281-295.

Sparks, A. K. 1951. Some helminth parasites of the largemouth bass in Texas. Transactions of the Amer. Microscop. Soc., 70:351-358.

Underwood, H. T. 1975. A comparative study of the parasitism of Micropterus salmoides, large mouth bass, in two arms of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Unpubl. M.S. thesis, Stephen F. Austin State Univ., Nacogdoches, Texas, 56 pp.

Underwood, H. T., & N. O. Dronen. 1984. Endohelminths of fishes from the upper San Marcos River, Texas. Southwest. Nat., 29(4):377-385.

H. Randall Yoder and Christopher M. Crabtree

Department of Biology, Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas 77710

HRY at: yoderhr@hal.lamar.edu
COPYRIGHT 2005 Texas Academy of Science
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Yoder, H. Randall; Crabtree, Christopher M.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:2382
Previous Article:Distribution and status of Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi and Rio Grande shiner Notropis jemezanus, Pecos River, New Mexico.
Next Article:A quantitative technique for determining nest-site fidelity in eastern wild turkeys using radiotelemetry data.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters