Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

New records of digenetic trematodes infecting Melanoides tuberculata (O.F. Müller, 1774) in Florida, USA.

Abstract

Melanoides tuberculata is a well-known invasive, freshwater snail and intermediate host for many species of parasitic trematodes. Despite being well established in Florida's freshwater systems, little work has been conducted to document the associated trematodes of the snails. Live snails were collected from 11 sites from 25 locations sampled across the state of Florida, USA of which individuals from six sites were found to be infected with trematodes. Gross morphological characters and phylogenetic analysis using 18S rRNA and ITS2 gene regions, were used to identify these trematode taxa. Snails infected with the gill flukes, Centrocestus formosanus and Haplorchis pumilio (Heterophyidae) were found at two and four sites, respectively. While C. formosanus has been documented in this snail species in Florida, H. pumilio has not been documented in Florida before this study. The eye fluke, Philophthalmus sp. (Philophthalmidae) was found in two sites. This parasite was previously reported in Florida in birds but not in any snail hosts. An unidentifiable species of kidney fluke, Renicolidae sp., and an unidentifiable species of bat fluke, Lecithodendriidae sp., were found in one site each. Both Renicolidae sp. and Lecithodendriidae sp. are new North American records of trematodes infecting M. tuberculata, but whether they are they are of native or invasive origin is unknown. These new records of trematode taxa infecting M. tuberculata in Florida emphasizes the critical need for monitoring of invasive snails and their associated parasites.