Occurrence of nematodes on Ephemeroptera nymphs in a tropical rainforest stream
ResumenNematodes are common symbionts of aquatic insects. Here, we assessed the presence of nematodes in mayfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera), evaluated their prevalence in the population, and determined factors associated with nematode presence. Mayflies were collected (n = 130) from three stream habitats (riffles, pools, and boulders) using a D net, in Prieta stream, El Verde Field Station, Puerto Rico. Mayflies were dissected and nematode presence was determined under a light microscope (4 x and 10 x). Nematode prevalence was 50 %. Nematodes were not identified beyond Phylum level, but we were able to eliminate various groups as infective agents (Nematoda: Mermithidae and Nematomorpha: Gordiida). They were mostly found in the abdomen, head or thorax of mayflies. There were differences in infection among taxa, Neohagenulus was the group with the highest proportion of infection. Mayfly body shape, feeding strategy, or activity potentially explain differences in infection among taxa. There were no differences in infection among habitats, but mayflies were less abundant in riffles; and there was no relation between mayfly body length and the number of nematodes present. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a nematode present in mayfly nymphs in Puerto Rico.
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