Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science

Degree Name

Marine Science

First Advisor

David W. Kerstetter

Second Advisor

Christopher Blanar


Endoparasite, Trematoda, Nematoda, Helminth, Ardeidae, Pelecanidae, Threskiornithidae, Ciconiidae


The focus of this research was to investigate the parasite diversity for common wading birds from four families, Pelecanidae, Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae and Ciconiidae found in southeast Florida which includes Broward, Monroe, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. This study also determined gaps in the literature for the selected species. A total of 116 papers were used to create host-parasite and parasite-host checklists for the nineteen wading bird species selected from the four families, twenty-eight of these studies occurred within the state of Florida. Statistical analyses demonstrated strong correlations between the number of papers found for each species and the number of parasite taxa they hosted. A strong correlation was also observed between the number papers for each family and their species richness. A total of 271 parasite taxa were identified from the literature with 55 determined to the genus level. There were strong correlations between the families and the number of parasite taxa they possessed and the number of papers in relation to each species. There were no significant differences in species richness, but there was a significant difference in community structure for the nineteen species studied. The creation of the parasite-host and host-parasite checklists were successful and can be used as a tool for future parasitological studies on birds residing in southeast Florida.

Available for download on Sunday, September 08, 2024