SREL Reprint #0629

 

 

 

Species Diversity of Helminth Parasites in Chrysemys s. scripta from a variety of Habitats in South Carolina

Gerald W. Esch, J. Whitfield Gibbons, and Joseph E. Bourque

 

Abstract

The species diversity and means number of parasite species per host were computed for the enteric helminth communities of 78 Chrysemys s. scripta taken from variety of habitats located on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) near Aiken, South Carolina.  Analysis of variance for Shannon’s Index and mean number of parasite species per host indicated significant differences among the six habitats.  The least diversity was associated with turtles captured in the most unstable and unpredictable habitats.  Turtles from river-swamp locations, representative of stable and predictable habitats, carried all 10 species of helminths recovered on the SRP.  The most common helminth species were the nematode Spinonoura chelydrae and the acanthocephalan Neoechinorhynchus pseudemydis.  The results of this study suggest that community diversity of helminth parasites in C. Scripta is related to habitat stability or predictability, but may also be a function of the complexity of parasite life cycles.

 

SREL Reprint #0629

Esch, G.W., J.W. Gibbons, and J.E. Bourque. 1979. Species diversity of helminth parasites in Chrysemys s. scripta from a variety of habitats in South Carolina. Journal of Parasitology 65:633-638.

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