Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hunting Haplosplanchnidae on the Great Barrier Reef

Early in 2015, just about a month after I arrived in Australia, I had the good fortune to visit Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR).  My goal while I was there was to collect gastropods in order to begin the task of elucidating trematode life-cycles on the GBR.  A separate goal was to build up a collection of trematodes of the family Haplosplanchnidae from fishes of the family Acanthuridae (includes the surgeonfishes, rabbitfishes, and unicornfishes).

Haplosplanchnids seem to be well concentrated in herbivorous fishes, so the family Acanthuridae was a good choice.  I spent most of my efforts on surgeonfishes and unicornfishes.  So my mornings were spent spearfishing for these guys, with my afternoons and evenings spent dissecting them.

I'll probably make a longer, and much more scientific post about Haplosplanchnids some day soon, but for now I'll just link to a video of me on Lizard Island talking about my purpose there.





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