NANFA-- Bowfin parasites

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 17:03:18 -0500

Catherine Murphy and I observed large tapeworms expelled from the mouths of
recently dead juvenile bowfin from Bayou Meto, Arkansas. Ray Wolff observed
a similar phenomenon in a captive northern bowfin. I did some background
reading and found that bowfin can harbor some impressive parasite loads.

In Louisiana, 5/6 bowfin examined were parasitized by the tapeworm
Prorteocephalus ambloplitis, and 4/6 by Haplobothrium glubuliforme
(Sogandares-Bernal, 1955).

In South Carolina, 12/12 examined were parasitized by P.perplexus (a
parasite specializing on bowfin), 10/12 by H. globuliforme (Aho et al.,
1991). Average number of worms per bowfin were: P.perplexus - 44.9,
H.globuliforme - 2.0, and total worms - 114! Also, species richness of
bowfin helminths is quite high (6.5 species/bowfin) compared with other
freshwater fishes (usually < 2 species).

Both studies were of adult fish and neither addressed parasite-induced
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