College of Arts and Sciences
Primary Subject Area
The purpose of this thesis is to obtain an understanding of parasite ecology and the incidence of black spot disease in freshwater fish. Parasite morphology, transmission, and life cycles are important to understand before being able to control a parasite. Uvulifer ambloplitis is a larval trematode worm that infects freshwater fish and causes a black pigment to be produced in response to its metacercariae stage. Other immune responses and effects on the intermediate hosts, fish and snails, are examined. A study was done on the fish of Rutledge Creek, Virginia to take a closer look at the epidemiology of this parasite. A flourishing parasite community at Rutledge Creek can be an indicator of good stream health and quality. Typically, the prevention and control of trematode parasites focuses on molluscicidal chemicals and plants.