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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessment of Parasite Abundance and Health of Native Frogs Relative to Surrounding Land Use in ND and Mn.

item Shappell, Nancy

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 3, 2002
Citation: Gackle, N.G., Shappell, N.W., Grier, J. 2002. Assessment of parasite abundance and health of native frogs relative to surrounding land use in ND and MN. [abstract]. American Society of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, July 3-8, 2002, Kansas City, MO.

Technical Abstract: Recognizing parasites as a possible contributor to amphibian malformations and decline, the goals of the field study were to: 1) determine the relative abundance of various metacercariae and mesocercariae in metamorph Rana pipiens and other native anurans captured in ND and MN; 2) evaluate land use effect on snail populations, frog parasite loads, and frog health; 3) assess potential correlations between parasite burdens and malformations in the wild. Body weight (BWT), snout to vent length (SVL), sex, and parasites were recorded from 344 frogs necropsied from 22 different sites during the summer of 2001. Abnormal northern leopard frog metamorphs (16 of 198) were frozen and radiographs were taken to determine origin of skeletal deformities (predation or malformation). Of the fifteen categories of parasites identified, only two species of parasites, Fibricola cratera and Manodistomum sp., were found at all sites. High burdens of these parasites were found in frogs of both high and low SVL to BWT ratios (robust and undersized frogs, respectively). Ribeiroia ondatrae, a parasite shown to induce malformations in Pacific treefrogs and western toads under laboratory conditions, was present at four sites. No correlation was found between parasite burden, land use, and malformations in Rana pipiens.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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