Chapter

Parasites of North American Frogs

Sutherland Daniel

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235922.003.0019
Parasites of North American Frogs

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There are two reasons to be interested in the parasites of anurans. First, as a source of instruction: frogs are often utilized in introductory parasitology courses because of the healthy diversity of parasites and the large numbers of worms and protozoans that an individual frog harbors. (Helminths, including trematodes, cestodes, and nematodes, are metazoan [multicellular] worm parasites; protozoans usually refer to unicellular organisms familiar to most introductory biology students as flagellates, ciliates, sporozoans, and amoebae.) Secondly, trematode parasites may have a role in amphibian malformations, and, therefore, in amphibian population declines. Frogs in North America harbor extremely diverse communities of parasites. Recent evidence indicates that Ribeiroia can elicit substantial deformities and mortalities under laboratory conditions. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, frog deformities are the result of a suite of causes working alone in certain situations or in concert in others. Multiple causes of deformities suggest that stresses predisposing frog populations to malformations are involved and that continued research into causes and stressors is justified.

Keywords: Ribeiroia; North America; frogs; parasites; malformations; deformities; population declines; trematodes; nematodes; protozoans

Chapter.  6543 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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