Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2011 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

First Insights into the Parasite Fauna of Fish from the Lower Jones Falls
Pecher, Wolf T.
Co-Authors: Wolf T. Pecher

Abstract: Through the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) launched in1994 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD-DNR) an increasing amount of information is available on fish communities in the Jones Falls and other streams of the Baltimore Harbor watershed. However, the current knowledge of the composition (and dynamics) of parasite communities in these streams is limited at best. Therefore, in the Summer of 2010 a parasitological study was launched that aims to characterize the parasite fauna of freshwater from the Jones Falls and other streams of the Baltimore Harbor watershed. It is hypothesized that the parasite community structure differs between fish captured at environmentally impaired sites and fish obtained from less impaired sites. Presented here are the first results of this parasitological investigation on fish captured in the Lower Jones Falls. Up to date a total of 18 fish were examined: 4 redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus), 1 green sunfish (L. cyanellus), 4 satinfin shiner (Cyprinella analostana), 2 white sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and 7 longnose dace (Rhinichthyes cataractae). Fish were infected with larval stages (metacercariae) of the trematode genera Clinostomum (yellow grub) and Posthodiplostomum (white grub), and nematodes of the genus Rhabdochona. Furthermore, metacercariae of 2 unidentified trematode genera were found that caused black spot disease in R. cataractae or were encysted in the liver of their fish hosts. Interestingly all parasites observed so far have a complex life cycle.