Trematoda of the Gulf of Mexico




Manter, Harold W.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Over 200 species of Trematoda reported from fishes of the Gulf of Mexico include 10 species of Monogenea, 2 species of Aspidogastrea, and 196 species of Digenea. Of the Digenea, 18 species are gasterostomes, and 178 species are prosostomes. Although most of these trematodes have been studied only from the eastern portion of the Gulf at Tortugas, Fla., several species have been reported from Galveston Bay, Texas. Trematodes of other vertebrates of the Gulf have been studied very little. Fifteen species have been reported from Caretta caretta, the loggerhead turtle, at Tortugas. Two species are reported in this paper from Ghelonia mydas, the green turtle. At least five other species have been reported from oceanic birds in the Caribbean, birds which are also common in the Gulf. Larval stages of trematodes in mollusks of the Gulf include 22 species of cercariae at Tortugas. Cercariae of Parorchis acanthus have been reported from Thais floridana from the Louisiana coast. Here also oysters are commonly infected with gasterostome larvae. Only three life cycles are known. Hamacreadium mutablie and H. gulella, adults of which occur in Lutjanidae (snappers), develop in a snail, Astrea americana, and then utilize Thalassoma bifasciatus, bluehead or Halichoeres bivittatus, slippery dick as second intermediate host. Juvenile stages of Lophotaspis vallei from the loggerhead turtle infect the flag conch, Fasciolaria gigas. A discussion of geographical distribution of trematodes of fishes points out (1) that the trematodes of fishes from 100 fathoms or deeper show practically no affinity to trematodes of surface waters of the Gulf but do show considerable affinity to species from fishes of distant but cold waters, (2) the trematode fauna of surface waters (less than 50 fathoms) shows a marked similarity to such faunas at Bermuda and in the tropcial American Pacific, a similarity approximately twice as great is shown to Beaufort, N.C., or Woods Hole, Mass.


p. 335-350.


Trematoda, parasites, hosts, life history, geographical distribution, taxonomy