The ecology of two larval parasites in fathead minnows

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Schleppe, Jason L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2002
The population dynamics and life histories of two larval parasites of fathead minnows were investigated, together with their effects on host reproduction in natural populations. In two lakes in northern Alberta, Canada, 100% of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are infected with larval trematodes (Ornithodiplostomum ptychcocheilus and Posthodiplostomum minimum) that encyst in their brains and mesentaries, respectively. The numbers of parasites in individual adult minnows varied extensively between and within two different lakes. Parallel laboratory studies indicated that selection imposed by common hosts in the life cycles of these species have shaped broadly similar life histories. Field collections of male minnows indicated that early in the breeding season, breeding males were longer than non-breeding males. Furthermore, breeding males had larger girths (independent of total length) and contained fewer numbers of three of 4 common larval trematodes than non-breeding males throughout the breeding season. These parasites most likely affect a male's ability to compete for or defend a nest.
vi, 99 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Parasitology , Fathead minnow -- Parasites , Dissertations, Academic