Fundulus heteroclitus serves as a host to many parasites, providing a model system to investigate questions regarding evolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions in natural populations. Previous research from the North Inlet Estuary at Belle W. Baruch shows that F. heteroclitus serve as second intermediate hosts to cestodes, Glossocercus caribaensis and Cyclustera ibisae. Finding larval parasites in the first intermediate host will complete gaps in the knowledge about these parasites’ life cycles. In the experiment, 27 fish were collected from the North Inlet Estuary and were dissected and examined for parasites around the gastrointestinal tract. Parasites collected were sent to parasitologist, Dr. Anindo Choudhury, the associate editor for the Journal of Parasitology, for identification. The parasites were positively identified as G. caribaensis and C. ibisae, indicating that the cestodes were still present in the community. Then, possible first intermediate hosts were collected from the North Inlet Estuary; these specimens included grass shrimp, snails, clams, and fiddler crabs. These possible hosts were dissected and examined for early stage tapeworms (oncospheres). Parasites found were also sent to Dr. Choudhury to be identified. Several different species of parasites were found in dissection of first intermediate hosts. Parasites identified were isopods, trematodes, and a possible cestode. The finding of a possible cestode in only one host, a grass shrimp, out of seventy dissected, led us to the conclusion that grass shrimp are most likely an accidental host to the tapeworms.

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