In the southern Appalachian Mountains, U.S.A., the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis, a parasite of raccoons and possibly mink, utilizes larvae of lungless salamanders as second intermediate hosts, most frequently using the salamander Desmognathus quadramaculatus. We tested whether there was a difference in parasite infection between this salamander and its sympatric, cryptic congener, Desmognathus folkertsi, in northern Georgia. Whereas larval D. quadramaculatus had a prevalence of 100% with intensities ranging from 18 to over 1,000, none of the D. folkertsi had visible metacercariae. These results indicate that M. oregonensis is more host-specific in salamander second intermediate hosts in the southern Appalachians than previously reported.
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Vol. 88 • No. 2