Title

Meso- and Bathy-pelagic Fish Parasites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR): Low Host Specificity and Restricted Parasite Diversity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2010

Publication Title

Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers

Keywords

Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), Food composition, Parasite fauna, Meso- and bathy-pelagic fish, Parasite diversity, Molecular parasite identification, Sibling species

ISSN

0967-0637

Volume

57

Issue/No.

4

First Page

596

Last Page

603

Abstract

Seven meso- and bathy-pelagic fish species from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) were firstly studied for fish parasites and feeding ecology. With a total of seven parasite species, the 247 meso- and bathy-pelagic deep-sea fish specimens belonging to the families Melamphaidae (3 spp.), Myctophidae (3 spp.) and Stomiidae (1 sp.) revealed low parasite diversity. The genetically identified nematodes Anisakis simplex (s.s.) and Anisakis pegreffii from the body cavity, liver and muscles of Myctophum punctatum were the most abundant parasites, reaching a prevalence of 91.4% and mean intensity of 3.1 (1–14). Anisakis sp. (unidentified) infected Chauliodus sloani and Poromitra crassiceps. Bothriocephalidean and tetraphyllidean cestode larvae infected Benthosema glaciale, the latter also occurring in C. sloani and Scopelogadus beanii, at low prevalences. Adult parasites at low infection rates included the digenean Lethadena sp. (2.9%), and the two copepod species Sarcotretes scopeli (5.7%) and Tautochondria dolichoura (5.3–11.4%). The myctophid Lampanyctus macdonaldi and the melamphaid Scopelogadus mizolepis mizolepis were free of parasites. Analyses of the stomach contents revealed crustaceans, especially copepods and euphausiids for the myctophids and also amphipods for the melamphaids as predominant prey items. While all stomachs showing distinct content comprising often unidentified ‘tissue’ (possibly gelatinous zooplankton), only C. sloani preyed upon fish. Though this feeding habit would enable transfer of a variety of crustacean-transmitted parasites into the fish, the parasite fauna in the meso- and bathy-pelagic fish was species poor. All observed parasites showed low host specificity, demonstrating no distinct pattern of host–parasite co-evolution. The MAR is no barrier for the parasite distribution in the North Atlantic meso- and bathy-pelagial.

Comments

©2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Comments

German Research Council award #: DFG KL 2087/1-1, 1-2

ORCID ID

0000-0002-5280-7071

DOI

10.1016/j.dsr.2010.01.002

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