This study describes the parasite communities of juvenile bluegill and examines the development of parasite communities in juvenile bluegill from 2 Michigan lakes. Parasitological examination of 510 juvenile bluegill from 2 Michigan lakes (Three Lakes II [TL] and Gull Lake [GL]) demonstrated that TL bluegill harbored 19 parasite species and GL bluegill harbored 16 parasite species. Parasite communities of juvenile bluegill from both lakes were dominated by larval parasites, particularly larval trematodes. A nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis showed bluegill of similar lengths to have similar parasite communities. Relative influences of species richness on parasite infracommunities of juvenile bluegill suggest similar patterns of parasite community structure between TL and GL. Patterns in parasite colonization evident in both lakes suggest that the smallest juvenile bluegill are primarily vulnerable to colonization by parasites acquired through direct contact, particularly larval trematodes, while the majority of parasites acquired through ingestion are not acquired until juvenile bluegill are larger and less-gape limited.
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