Abstract

In total, 70 spotted sandpipers, Actitis macularius, were examined for helminth parasites; 47 from Belize, 18 from Texas, and 5 from Montana. The compound communities consisted of 10 species of helminths for Belize, 5 for Texas, and 6 for Montana, for a total of 17 different species. The most prevalent and abundant helminths for Belize were 3 microphallid trematodes, Paramaritremopsis solielangi, Levinseniella carteretensis, and Microphallus kinsellai; for Texas, the cestodes Kowalewskiella cingulifera and Choanotaenia cayennensis; and for Montana, the cestodes Anomotaenia hypoleuci and K. cingulifera. The cestode K. cingulifera was the only species recorded from all 3 localities. The cestode A. hypoleuci was the only specialist. Characteristics for helminth compound communities from the 3 localities were similar in terms of low mean species richness, medium diversity, and in uneven parasite distribution. Infracommunities were species poor for all 3 localities. For the Belize sample, only 6 of the 47 hosts harbored as many as 3 helminth species, and only 1 harbored more, at 5 species. Only 1 host harbored as many as 3 species in the sample from Texas, and a single host harbored a high of 4 species for Montana. There were no significant differences for mean species richness or mean abundance among the 3 localities. There were no significant differences for species richness or mean abundance between the combined freshwater sample from Texas and Montana and the marine sample from Belize. There were no significant positive or negative associations between pairs of helminth species.

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