|SREL Reprint #0630|
Distribution and Abundance of Enteric Helminths in Chrysemys s. scripta
from Various Habitats on the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina
W. Esch, J. Whitfield Gibbons, and Joseph E. Bourque
Nine species of enteric parasites were recovered
from 357 Chrysemys scripta in a variety of habitats located on the
Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. Camallanus trispinosus was the most common
nematode, present in more than 90% of the hosts; Spinoroura chelydrae
was observed less frequently (73%). Mean
infrapopulation densities of C. trispinosus were substantially
higher than S. chelydrae (130.7 vs. 22.3).
Two trematodes, Telorchis medius and Macravestibulum
sp. were present in low densities and were relatively low in prevalence
(27.1% and 10.3% respectively). Four
species of Neoechinorhynchus were recovered (N. pseudemydis,
N. emyditoides, N. chrysemydis, and N. chelonus),
with N. pseudemydis being most common (50%) and having the highest
mean density (22.0/host). An
unidentified species of acanthocephalan was also recovered from several turtles.
Significant, but low, positive correlations were observed between mean
densities of the two nematodes and plastron length, small intestine length and
host weight. Mean infrapopulation
densities of Neoechinorhynchus spp. were significantly correlated
with plaston length, host weight, and small intestine length.
Camallanus trispinosus was heavily recruited in September
and October and lost in mid to late summer; S. chelydrae was lost
during hibernation and rapidly recruited in early spring.
Neoechinorhynchus spp. were recruited heavily at least
twice each year, with greatest loss occurring just prior to, or simultaneously
with, recruitment. There was substantial variability in abundance and
distribution of all enteric helminths among the ecologically diverse habitats on
the SRP. Some of the variability
was attributed to substantive perturbation, i.e., thermal effluent, as well as
immigration and emigration of infected and uninfected turtles.
SREL Reprint #0630
Esch, G.W., J.W. Gibbons, and J.E. Bourque. 1979. The
distribution and abundance of enteric helminths in Chrysemys s.
scripta from various habitats on the Savannah River Plant in
South Carolina. Journal of Parasitology 65:624-632.