Ergasilus nerkae was found infecting ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) in lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior and threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and round whitefish (Prosopium cylindraceum) in Lake Huron. Based upon the literature and study of archived material, we propose that E. nerkae is enzootic to the Great Lakes and that ninespine stickleback are a preferred host in Lake Huron. Prevalence of E. nerkae on ninespine stickleback increased from 17% in June to 68% in September, but mean intensity remained light. Prevalence and mean intensity increased with host length. Ergasilus luciopercarum is also reported on lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) for the first time. Host-parasite records of Ergasilus spp. in North America are reviewed, biology and taxonomy are summarized, and a checklist of Great Lakes host-parasite-locality records is provided. At present, eight species of Ergasilus are known to infect 42 Great Lakes fish species.
Additional publication details
New records of Ergasilus (Copepoda: Ergasilidae) in the Laurentian Great Lakes, including a lakewide review of records and host associations