Thorny-headed worms

Acanthocephala from lake fishes in Wisconsin: ecology and host relationships of Pomphorhynchus bulbocolli (Pomphorhynchidae).

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1987
Authors:O. M. Amin
Journal:J Parasitol
Date Published:1987 Apr
Keywords:Acanthocephala, Animals, Female, Fish Diseases, Fishes, Helminthiasis, Helminthiasis, Animal, Host-Parasite Interactions, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Male, Seasons, Wisconsin

Pomphorhynchus bulbocolli Linkins in Van Cleave, 1919, was considerably more common in fishes of the river-connected Tichigan Lake than of the landlocked Silver Lake, southeastern Wisconsin. It is reported from 17 species of principal, accessory, and occasional definitive hosts (new record in Moxostoma carinatum) and from 13 species of paratenic hosts (new records in Amia calva, Ictalurus punctatus, Lepomis cyanellus, and Pomoxis nigromaculatus). Infection patterns were influenced by fish species, feeding behavior, temperature, availability of intermediate host, type of water body, fish movement, and changes in fish host community. Host roles are not fixed but are often interchangeable. A seasonal cycle in prevalence, intensity, and maturation was evident, with greatest abundance and maturation during summer and recruitment during summer and autumn. Recruitment of new infections, development, and release of eggs, however, occurred all year. Sex ratio changed from near equal in new infections to one more highly in favor of females in older adults. Female fish were considerably more frequently and heavily infected than males. No relationship with fish age (size) was evident. Worms were mostly attached in posterior intestinal locations but initial establishment sites correlated with temperature. Translocation of P. bulbocolli due to competitive exclusion in concurrent infections was not observed. The significance of extraintestinal larval forms in the cycle of transmission was noted.

Alternate Journal:J. Parasitol.
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