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Endoparasite species richness of New Caledonian butterfly fishes: host density and diet matter

  • S. MORAND (a1), T. H. CRIBB (a2), M. KULBICKI (a3), M. C. RIGBY (a4), C. CHAUVET (a5), V. DUFOUR (a6), E. FALIEX (a1), R. GALZIN (a6), C. M. LO (a6), A. LO-YAT (a6), S. PICHELIN (a2) and P. SASAL (a1)...

Abstract

Ecological factors may influence the number of parasites encountered and, thus, parasite species richness. These factors include diet, gregarity, conspecific and total host density, habitat, body size, vagility, and migration. One means of examining the influence of these factors on parasite species richness is through a comparative analysis of the parasites of different, but related, host species. In contrast to most comparative studies of parasite species richness of fish, which have been conducted by using data from the literature, the present study uses data obtained by the investigators. Coral reef fishes vary widely in the above ecological factors and are frequently parasitized by a diverse array of parasites. We, therefore, chose to investigate how the above ecological factors influence parasite species richness in coral reef fishes. We investigated the endoparasite species richness of 21 species of butterfly fishes (Chaetodontidae) of New Caledonia. We mapped the diet characters on the existing butterfly fish phylogeny and found that omnivory appears to be ancestral. We also mapped the estimated endoparasite species richness, coded from low to high parasite species richness, on the existing butterfly fish phylogeny and found that low parasite species richness appears to be associated with the ancestral state of omnivory. Different dietary and social strategies appear to have evolved more than once, with the exception of obligate coralivory, which appears to have evolved only once. Finally, after controlling for phylogenetic relationships, we found that only the percentage of plankton in the diet and conspecific host density were positively correlated with endoparasite species richness.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, UMR 5555 CNRS, Université de Perpignan, Av. de Villeneuve, 66022 Perpignan Cedex, France. Tel: +33 4 68 66 21 87. Fax: +33 4 68 66 22 81. E-mail: morand@univ-perp.fr

Keywords

Endoparasite species richness of New Caledonian butterfly fishes: host density and diet matter

  • S. MORAND (a1), T. H. CRIBB (a2), M. KULBICKI (a3), M. C. RIGBY (a4), C. CHAUVET (a5), V. DUFOUR (a6), E. FALIEX (a1), R. GALZIN (a6), C. M. LO (a6), A. LO-YAT (a6), S. PICHELIN (a2) and P. SASAL (a1)...

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