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Amphibian DeclinesThe Conservation Status of United States Species$
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Michael Lannoo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235922

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235922.001.0001

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Parasites of North American Frogs

Parasites of North American Frogs

(p.109) Nineteen Parasites of North American Frogs
Amphibian Declines

Sutherland Daniel

University of California Press

There are two reasons to be interested in the parasites of anurans. First, as a source of instruction: frogs are often utilized in introductory parasitology courses because of the healthy diversity of parasites and the large numbers of worms and protozoans that an individual frog harbors. (Helminths, including trematodes, cestodes, and nematodes, are metazoan [multicellular] worm parasites; protozoans usually refer to unicellular organisms familiar to most introductory biology students as flagellates, ciliates, sporozoans, and amoebae.) Secondly, trematode parasites may have a role in amphibian malformations, and, therefore, in amphibian population declines. Frogs in North America harbor extremely diverse communities of parasites. Recent evidence indicates that Ribeiroia can elicit substantial deformities and mortalities under laboratory conditions. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, frog deformities are the result of a suite of causes working alone in certain situations or in concert in others. Multiple causes of deformities suggest that stresses predisposing frog populations to malformations are involved and that continued research into causes and stressors is justified.

Keywords:   Ribeiroia, North America, frogs, parasites, malformations, deformities, population declines, trematodes, nematodes, protozoans

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