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Differences in numbers and inequalities in mass and fecundity during the egg-producing period for Raphidascaris acus (Nematoda: Anisakidae)

  • A. J. Szalai (a1) and T. A. Dick (a1)

Summary

Maturity, mass and sex were determined for individual Raphidascaris acus from northern pike, Esox lucius from Dauphin Lake, Manitoba. Length, width and total fecundity of female worms; seasonal changes in worm numbers, growth and maturity; and inequalities in mass and fecundity were quantified for 8 sample periods between April and September. Recruitment of R. acus is most rapid in early spring and continues throughout summer. An accumulation of larvae over winter leads to a peak in the number of gravid worms in spring, while increased feeding by post-spawning pike on yellow perch, Perca fluviatilis, leads to lower levels of gravid worms throughout summer and early autumn. Gravid worms found in spring versus summer were similar with respect to all measured variables and do not appear to be from genetically distinct populations. The strength of the correlation between fecundity and mass for worms was variable between pike and between sample periods, and only weakly correlated when the data were pooled. Much of this variation could be attributed to continued growth of gravid worms after maturation. Worms found in June were smaller, less fecund and less variable and inequalities in mass and fecundity measured using Gini coefficients (GCs) and Lorenz curves (LCs) were most similar at this time. For all other sample periods inequality in fecundity was greater than the corresponding value for mass. Similarity between GCs based on mass and fecundity was maximum when the coefficient of variation (C.V.) for mass was greater than the corresponding C.V. for fecundity. These observations suggest that one must be cautious when applying GCs and LCs to the analysis of parasite populations.

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Keywords

Differences in numbers and inequalities in mass and fecundity during the egg-producing period for Raphidascaris acus (Nematoda: Anisakidae)

  • A. J. Szalai (a1) and T. A. Dick (a1)

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