Trematode Diversity in Freshwater Snail, Campeloma decisum


Trematode Diversity in Freshwater Snail, Campeloma decisum



Faculty Mentor

Lori Tolley-Jordan, Biology


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9:30-9:40am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor


The highest diversity of freshwater snail in North America is found in Alabama. Remarkably, most freshwater snails are host to at least one species of parasitic flatworm; yet most of these relationships are poorly documented. One species of freshwater snail, Campleloma decisum, is widespread in Alabama but few studies have reported the diversity of parasites associated with this species. Here, I sampled a population of these snails in a spring system in Anniston, AL in January 2021 and monthly July through October. During each sampling event I collected at least 50 individuals that were sacrificed, and tissues were observed under a microscope to detect infection. On average at least 50% of sampled snails (usually 50 individuals) were infected with parasites. In addition, two parasite species were found in this species in this one spring system. Interestingly, these parasites have a complex life cycle in which additional life stages will infect other animals, such as birds and fishes. However, parasites in snail tissues can be difficult to identify so that understanding the life cycle of the parasite is not possible. With the aid of ongoing genetic analyses, I will be able to identify these parasitic flatworms to lowest taxonomic level and understand the other hosts involved in these complex life cycles.


student research, biology


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Trematode Diversity in Freshwater Snail, Campeloma decisum