The intestinal helminth communities of creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) were studied in the streams of southeastern Nebraska to characterize spatial variation, to determine whether drainages act as regional species pools, and to examine the spatial patterning of individual parasite species within and among drainages. Creek chub were sampled in the summer of 2003 and the spring of 2004 at each of 12 sites distributed evenly among 3 drainages in the Big Nemaha River watershed. Four intestinal helminths were recovered: Allocreadium lobatum, Proteocephalus sp., Rhabdochona canadensis, and Paulisentis missouriensis. Host size had little or no effect on the composition of the parasite communities of creek chub, either among individual fish or among samples. In contrast, drainage and sample date explained 82% of the variation in mean infracommunity species richness among samples, and 62% of the variation in mean infracommunity abundance among samples. Drainage differences were determined by the distributions of P. missouriensis and R. canadensis; whereas, A. lobatum and Proteocephalus sp. were more uniformly distributed among drainages. Each drainage was characterized by a unique pattern of species diversity at infracommunity, component community, and drainage levels of organization.
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