PARASITES INFECTING HEXAGENIA (EPHEMEROPTERA: EPHEMERIDAE) NYMPHS FROM WESTERN LAKE ERIE, MICHIGAN
Hexagenia spp. are important biomonitoring indicators of the mesotrophic water quality. However, little research has been done on parasites infecting Hexagenia and what role parasites may play in Hexagenia population dynamics. Therefore, the aim of our study is to catalog parasites in a population of these mayflies from western Lake Erie, Michigan and to describe basic ecological information such as infection prevalence, parasite loads in mayflies, host specificity, and parasite distributions. Mayfly specimens were collected as part of ongoing biomonitoring studies and examined for parasites microscopically. Based on tentative morphological identifications, Hexagenia are infected with trematodes in the genus Crepidostomum, protists of the genera Vorticella and Epistylis, and an unidentified nematode. We present current progress on molecular and ecological work.
David Malakauskas (Primary Presenter/Author), Francis Marion University, DMalakauskas@fmarion.edu;