Epibionts of the Australian Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis Shaw) from farm dams
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Ectoparasitic and ectocommensal macroinvertebrates (epibionts) of turtles have received limited attention with species from most Australian chelids poorly known. In this paper we present observations on the taxa collected from the widespread and abundant Australian freshwater species Chelodina Iongicollis Shaw, the Eastern Long-necked Turtle, sampled from farm dams in North Western peri-urban Sydney.Twelve epibiont taxa were collected, with the most commonly encountered species being the leech Placobdelloides bancrofti McKenna and a chironomid. Encounter rates varied over winter, and with carapacal algal mass, and farm dam. In contrast, they do not show a preference based on turtle sex. Since C. Iongicollis of different size and sex show habitat selectivity within farm dams (Ryan and Burgin 2007), epibiont distribution is not due merely to opportunism.
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