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Metazoan Parasites of Catfishes in the Big Thicket National Preserve and Surrounding Areas, Texas, U.S.A.

Dutton, Haley R., Barger, Michael A.
Comparative parasitology 2015 v.82 no.2 pp. 187-197
Acanthocephala, Ameiurus, Cestoda, Crepidostomum, Ergasilus, Ictalurus punctatus, Nematoda, adults, catfish, conservation areas, ectoparasites, fauna, helminths, hosts, parasitism, species diversity, surface water, surveys, Texas
A survey of 2 species of ictalurid catfishes, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis), was conducted in southeastern Texas, United States. Sixty-nine channel catfish and 26 yellow bullhead were collected from 6 sites within the Big Thicket National Preserve and 6 sites in surrounding bodies of water. Thirty-one species of parasites were found including 11 trematodes, 8 nematodes, 5 copepods, 3 cestodes, and 1 each of an acanthocephalan, leech, monogene, and myxozoan. Channel catfish harbored 23 species of parasites, yellow bullhead harbored 17, and 9 species occurred in both host species. Adult endohelminths dominated the fauna (18 species). Trematodes (Alloglossidium corti, Alloglossidium kenti, Polylekithum catahoulensis), a cestode (Megathylacoides giganteum), a nematode (Dichelyne robusta), and an ectoparasitic copepod (Ergasilus cerastes) constituted over 75% of the total parasite abundance. Although this constitutes the highest species diversity reported among similar surveys of catfishes in North America, much of the high species density is due to the presence of generalists, e.g., species of Spinitectus and Crepidostomum, more-commonly known to parasitize fishes of other groups.