Title

Data Analysis of Myzobdella Lugubris Leech Attachment Sites Inside the Buccal Cavity of Largemouth Bass in Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Presenting Author Name/s

Ciara Branco

Faculty Advisor

David Gauthier

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Marine Biology

Description/Abstract

Largemouth bass currently make up a major recreational sport-fishery in Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, located on the southern east coast of Virginia and North Carolina. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VGDIF) has made a major investment and effort in in restoring the depleted population of largemouth bass in Back Bay with supplementary stocking efforts from 2009-2014. Concerns for the continuing recovery of largemouth bass arose when the fish were found to be infested with the leech Myzobdella lugubris. Myzobdella lugubris has also been found to infest largemouth bass in the Currituck Sound, North Carolina, which is connected to Back Bay from the south. Leech attachment sites leave ulcers in the oral cavity of bass that often become infected with bacteria leaving the mouth full of wound-like red scars. After leech detachment, M. lugubris begins depositing cocoons on hard surfaces such as blue crabs. The lack of information involving the leech M. lugubris increased the concerns for the recovery of the bass as it has the potential to be detrimental to the population. Previous research has been done questioning the effect leeches have on the largemouth bass after attachment and feeding. This research found that the leeches had little to no effect on the largemouth bass; however, it left unanswered questions about the attachment and feeding period as well as the development of the leech. We performed a tag-recapture study of largemouth bass in Back Bay where fish were photographed at initial capture and at subsequent recaptures. Comparison of these photographs can and yield insight into the lifecycle of the leech, M. lugubris, as well as the length of time for attachment and feeding that occurs within the oral cavity of largemouth bass. The information found through the analysis of these photographs can be utilized in determining if M. lugubris exploits a secondary host, such as blue crabs, during the early stages of their life cycle.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

2-2-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 8:00 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

Data Analysis of Myzobdella Lugubris Leech Attachment Sites Inside the Buccal Cavity of Largemouth Bass in Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Largemouth bass currently make up a major recreational sport-fishery in Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, located on the southern east coast of Virginia and North Carolina. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VGDIF) has made a major investment and effort in in restoring the depleted population of largemouth bass in Back Bay with supplementary stocking efforts from 2009-2014. Concerns for the continuing recovery of largemouth bass arose when the fish were found to be infested with the leech Myzobdella lugubris. Myzobdella lugubris has also been found to infest largemouth bass in the Currituck Sound, North Carolina, which is connected to Back Bay from the south. Leech attachment sites leave ulcers in the oral cavity of bass that often become infected with bacteria leaving the mouth full of wound-like red scars. After leech detachment, M. lugubris begins depositing cocoons on hard surfaces such as blue crabs. The lack of information involving the leech M. lugubris increased the concerns for the recovery of the bass as it has the potential to be detrimental to the population. Previous research has been done questioning the effect leeches have on the largemouth bass after attachment and feeding. This research found that the leeches had little to no effect on the largemouth bass; however, it left unanswered questions about the attachment and feeding period as well as the development of the leech. We performed a tag-recapture study of largemouth bass in Back Bay where fish were photographed at initial capture and at subsequent recaptures. Comparison of these photographs can and yield insight into the lifecycle of the leech, M. lugubris, as well as the length of time for attachment and feeding that occurs within the oral cavity of largemouth bass. The information found through the analysis of these photographs can be utilized in determining if M. lugubris exploits a secondary host, such as blue crabs, during the early stages of their life cycle.