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Richness and diversity of helminth species in eels from a hypersaline coastal lagoon, Mar Menor, south-east Spain
- Mayo-Hernández, E., Peñalver, J., García-Ayala, A., Serrano, E., Muñoz, P., Ruiz de Ybáñez, R.
- Journal of helminthology 2015 v.89 no.3 pp. 345-351
- Anguilla anguilla, Anguillicoloides crassus, Contracaecum, Mediterranean climate, Proteocephalidae, Trematoda, coastal water, eel, freshwater, helminths, larvae, life history, salinity, Spain
- The composition and diversity of parasite communities and intestinal components, as well as infra-community structure, were assessed in eels Anguilla anguilla, from Mar Menor, a permanent Mediterranean hypersaline coastal lagoon. Data were used to determine whether this helminth community differs in composition and structure from that of eels in lagoons with lower salinity regimes and higher freshwater inputs. A total prevalence of 93% was detected. Specifically, parasites were identified as Deropristis inflata, Bucephalus anguillae, Contracaecum sp., Anguillicoloides crassus and two plerocercoid larvae belonging to the order Proteocephalidae, the marine species representing 91% of the isolated helminths. In the total community, digenetic trematodes were the dominant group of helminths, and D. inflata, an eel specialist, dominated both the component community and the infra-community. Richness and diversity were low but similar to those reported in other saline lagoons, and maximum species per eel did not exceed four. At the infra-community level, higher abundance than in other brackish or marine Mediterranean environments was detected. The findings provide further evidence of the similarity in composition and structure of helminth communities in eels from various Mediterranean coastal lagoons. Moreover, salinity-dependent specificities are well supported and reflect the life history of individual eels.