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Volume 43 - Number 2 - 2008

Eumetazoan parasite infracommunities of the toadfish Aphos porosus (Valenciennes, 1837) (Actinopterygii: Batrachoidiformes) from central Chile

Yurima Cortés1 y Gabriela Muñoz1


1Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Casilla 5080, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile



This study describes and quantifies the eumetazoan parasite community of the toadfish Aphos porosus (Valenciennes, 1837). To accomplish this purpose, 30 toadfish individuals were collected from intertidal rocky pools at El Tabo, Central Chile between October 2006 and January 2007. The descriptors of the parasite infracommunity (abundance, richness, diversity and eveness) were calculated and correlated with the host body weight to determine if these variables have any relationship. The trophic level in which the toadfish is positioned in its community is also suggested, according to the life cycles of the parasites found in the fish. From the total sample, 93% fish were parasitized and 2,104 parasite individuals, belonging to nine taxa, were collected. The cestodes of Tetraphyllidea and the nematode Pseudoterranova sp. were the most prevalent and abundant parasites. At the infracommunity level, only the abundances (numeric and volumetric) of parasites increased significantly with host body weight which may be a consequence of a major consumption of infected prey and accumulation of parasites because several parasite species were larvae and encysted in the celomatic cavity and muscles of the fish. At the infrapopulation level only Tetraphyllidea showed a significant correlation between abundances and host body size. The toadfish would be in an intermediate trophic level; it preys over crustaceans which are intermediate hosts for several parasite species found in this study. At the same time, toadfish can be preyed by elasmobranchs and marine mammals which usually are definitive hosts of most endoparasite species found


Key words: Life cycle, parasite communities, intertidal zone, parasite transmission




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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