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PARASITIC AND SYMBIONIC FAUNA IN OYSTERS (CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA) COLLECTED FROM THE CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER AND ESTUARY, FLORIDA
Winstead, J T., A. K. Volety, AND S. G. Tolley. PARASITIC AND SYMBIONIC FAUNA IN OYSTERS (CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA) COLLECTED FROM THE CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER AND ESTUARY, FLORIDA. JOURNAL OF SHELLFISH RESEARCH 23(3):831-840, (2005).
To study oysters collected from ten sites in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, Florida, for parasites and symbiotic fauna
Studies of oysters, Crassostrea virginica, collected from ten sites in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, Florida, revealed a varied parasite and symbiotic fauna that have never been reported from this area. Organisms observed included ovacystis virus infecting gametes at four sites (prevalence <1%), ciliate protozoans Ancistrocoma sp. in the gut of a stressed oyster at one site and Sphenophrya infecting the gills of animals at three sites (prevalence <1%). The gregarine protozoa Nematopsis was found at all ten sites (prevalence 24 to 90%) and oysters at some sites had concurrent infections of Nematopsis prytherchi and Nematopsis ostrearum in connective tissue near the gut, mantle and gills. Light to moderate infestations of hydrozoan polyps of a species in the genus Eutima were observed in the gills of oysters at all sites (prevalence 1 to 22%). Helminths included an unidentified turbellarian (prevalence 1 to 4%) observed at three sites and the digenetic trematodes Echinostoma sp., Proctoeces maculatus and Bucephalus sp. in oysters at five (prevalence 1 to 93%), three (prevalence >1%) and six (prevalence 1 to 3%) sites respectively. The first two trematodes were found infesting the gonoducts of their hosts while sporocysts of Bucephalus sp. infected connective tissues and gonads. Metacestodes of a species in the genus Tylocephalus were found in vesicular connective tissues near the gut, mantle and in the gills of animals at all sites (prevalence 7 to 58%). Many sites had oysters with multiple infestations/infections of the above organisms indicating a rich biotic diversity, especially at those sites least impacted by human activity.