We studied the spatial distributions of mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta) infected by two trematodes, Lepocreadium setiferoides and Gynaecotyla adunca, on a macrotidal mudflat in the Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy. Snails, as first intermediate hosts, were castrated by both parasites, and we found no evidence of sex differences in parasitism. Similar to previous work, prevalence of L. setiferoides in I. obsoleta increased exponentially with host size (and age). Unexpectedly, prevalence of G. adunca decreased over the largest size classes of snails, a result that may be due to several causes. Distributions of both parasites across the intertidal zone differed from previous accounts in that snails infected with L. setiferoides were found only in the middle of the intertidal zone, whereas prevalence of G. adunca increased exponentially moving seaward. Several species of polychaetes could be infected by L. setiferoides in the laboratory and may act as appropriate second intermediate hosts, whereas only the amphipod Corophium volutator served as a second intermediate host for G. adunca. Finally, the vertical distributions of I. obsoleta infected by either species of trematode overlap with distributions of apparent or known second intermediate hosts.

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Journal Canadian Journal of Zoology
Citation
McCurdy, D.G., Boates, J.S., & Forbes, M. (2000). Spatial distribution of the intertidal snail Ilyanassa obsoleta in relation to parasitism by two species of trematodes. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 78(7), 1137–1143.