Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


One hundred ninety-seven Solitary Sandpipers, Tringa solitaria, and 213 Pectoral Sandpipers, Calidris melanotos, were examined for trematodes. Specimens were taken from the hosts' winter range in Ecuador, South America, during the fall and spring migrations from Louisiana and South Dakota in the United States, and from the breeding grounds of the Solitary Sandpiper in Ontario, Canada. The 13 species of trematodes recorded from the shorebirds included 5 that were common to both species of shorebirds: Tanaisia fedtschnkoi, Cyclocoelum obscurum, Paramonostomum sp., Leucochloridium variae, and Zonorchis microrochis. Of the remaining 8 species, Cyclocoelum brasilianum, Plagiorchis maculosus, Stephanoprora denticulata, and Eurytrema lubens occurred in Solitary Sandpipers while Cyclocoelum tringae, Plagiorchis elegans, Echinoparyphium speotyto, and Echinoparyphium aconiatum were found only in Pectoral Sandpipers. The overall prevalence of trematode infections in these hosts, regardless of season, was fairly constant, and ranged between 35 and 48 percent. The fauna of these long-distance intercontinental migrants was characterized by a high percentage (66%) of low prevalence parasite species. Although some of the trematode species from these migrants have been previously reported from both North and South America, this study includes several range extensions for the parasites. The slight differences in species composition and prevalence of infections were not significant between spring and fall migrants. The fauna was found to be a composite of species acquired by the hosts at various localities throughout their migrations. The breeding grounds were no more significant a source of trematode infection for Solitary and Pectoral Sandpipers than other localities covered during the long migrations. Species from the digestive tract were usually of low prevalence and intensity. The most common species were ubiquitous in geographical distribution and were found within the hosts in sites other than the digestive system. The trematode fauna of the 2 sandpipers was found to be remarkably similar in spite of the hosts' very different breeding ecology.