Abstract

Outside its native range, the invasive New Zealand mud snail (NZMS), Potamopyrgus antipodarum, is rarely reported to harbor parasites. To test this observation, 7 sites along the Snake River and Polecat Creek in the Grand Teton National Park/John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway area (Wyoming) were surveyed for native aquatic snails, NZMS, and associated digenean trematodes, in July 2005. At 6 sites, native snails harbored patent digenean infections; within 2 hr, ≤10% of lymnaeid snails shed furcocercariae or xiphidiocercariae, and ≤42% of physid snails released furcocercariae or echinostome cercariae. Partial 18S rDNA sequences were recovered from several furcocercariae. Potamopyrgus antipodarum was present at, and collected from, 5 sites. Polymerase chain reaction assays targeting digenean rDNA sequences in DNA extracted from pools of 150 NZMS snails did not detect parasites. The examination of 960 NZMS by overnight shedding yielded 1 occurrence of (surface-encysted) metacercariae of an unclassified notocotylid (based on 18S and 28S rDNA sequences). The dissection of 150 ethanol-fixed NZMS (30/site) revealed 2 types of digenean metacercariae encysted in tissues of 5 snails from Polecat Creek. Thus, invasive NZMS may serve as first and second intermediate host for digenean parasites.

You do not currently have access to this content.