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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

We provide a checklist of the common parasites of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) collected from eight creeks within an urban watershed located in Columbus, Georgia. A total of 12 parasite species were observed from 427 fish dissected. Bluegill (n = 222) were infected with 11 species, which included five species of larval helminths (Proteocephalus sp., Bothriocephalus sp., Posthodiplostomum minimum, Diplostomulum sp. and Clinostomum complanatum), one adult trematode (Pisciamphistoma stunkardi), four adult nematodes (Philometra sp., Philometra intraoculus, Spinetectus carolini and Camallanus oxycephalus) and one adult acanthocephalan (Neochinorhynchus cylindratus). Redbreast sunfish (n = 205) were infected with the same parasite species, except for the absence of larval Bothriocephalus sp. and the presence of an adult trematode (Crepidostomum cooperi). Metacercariae of the trematode P. minimum were the most common parasite in both fish species. Similar parasite communities in these sunfishes suggest that these species share similar microhabitats within the watershed, food resources and foraging sites. Seasonal comparison between the number of summer and winter parasites indicate a greater mean number of parasites per host in summer. We discuss the utility of such baseline parasite data in the potential environmental monitoring of the Bull and Upatoi Creeks watershed.

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