Gambusia affinis (Western Mosquitofish) were sampled from 18 sites representing marsh, forested wetlands, and agricultural wetlands in south Louisiana to determine distribution and infection parameters of Eustrongylides ignotus, a potentially lethal nematode parasite of wading birds, (n = 400 per site). Overall, prevalence of infection was 0.3%, with significantly higher prevalence in agricultural wetlands than in marshes or swamps. Our findings are similar to work in Florida suggesting parasite prevalence is higher in disturbed wetlands, and suggest that birds foraging in crayfish ponds and rice fields may be at increased risk of exposure.
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Vol. 11 • No. 3