Journal article

Species-specific prevalence of mermithid parasites in populations of six congeneric host caddisflies of Ecnomus McLachlan, 1864 (Trichoptera: Ecnomidae)

William Bovill, Jill Lancaster

Aquatic Insects | Taylor & Francis | Published : 2017

Abstract

Mermithid nematodes are entomophagous parasites and, despite being present in diverse aquatic insects, studies of caddisflies acting as definitive hosts are few and the ecological impacts on host populations are largely unknown. During a four-year study in a stream in southeastern Australia, parasitic mermithid worms were commonly found inside adult caddisflies, but only species of the genus Ecnomus McLachlan, 1864 (Ecnomidae). Ecnomus were the definitive host and parasite prevalence ranged from <1% to nearly 50% across six species. Species-specific prevalence varied little between years and was typically higher in males than in females. Parasite intensity ranged from 1 to 6 (median = 1), bu..

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