Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Parasitology (April 1988) 74(2): 207-213. Copyright 1988, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Prevalence, density, and variance/mean (= variance/density) ratios are reported for the cestode Distoichometra bufonis in 28 samples of the amphibian host, Bufo woodhousii, taken over a 3-yr period at two study sites on the South Platte River in Keith County, Nebraska, U.S.A. In addition, changes in host demography resulting from entry of newly metamorphosed toads into the terrestrial population are given. Prevalence and density (average number of worms per host, infected + noninfected) did not vary significantly either within or between sites and years unless newly metamorphosed toads were included in the analysis. Prevalence ranged from 70 to 100%, and density from 2.7 to 14.8 worms per host, excluding samples containing newly metamorphosed toads. The bulk of metamorphosis occurred in late June or early July, and by August both prevalence and density had returned to their premetamorphosis values. The host/parasite system is interpreted as one in which disruption of the host population's demographic makeup only temporarily perturbs parasite population structure