In Search of a New Host

As part of our on-going studies of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and our quest to understand the events that surround the cold-stun phenomenon that results with the stranding and death of tens to hundreds of turtles each year on Cape Cod we are studing the parasites collected from Kemp’s Ridley turtles that have died of this condition.  Little is know of the role parasites play in the stranding and disease of the Kemp’s ridley so every new finding must be followed to see if we can discover its significance.  One such parasite appears to be very similar and perhaps identical to Orchidasma amphiorchis which we have also found in loggerhead sea turtles stranded on Cape Cod.

A new anatomic drawing and description of Orchidasma amphiorchis from the loggerhead sea turtle will help us identify the unknown parasites from the Kemp’s ridley which is previously not know to host this species.  Additional studies are on-going.