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Acquisition of parasites correlated with social rank and behavioural changes in a fish species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2007

P. Bartoli
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Biologie Marine et d'Ecologie du Benthos, EP CNRS 75, Faculté des Sciences de Luminy, Case 901. 13288, Marseille Cedex 9, France
S. Morand
Affiliation:
Centre de Biologie et Ecologie Tropicale, UMR CNRS 5555, Université de Perpignan, Avenue de Villeneuve, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
J.-J. Riutort
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Ecologie Méditerranéenne, Faculté des Sciences, Université Pascal Paoli, BP 54, 20250 Corte, France
C. Combes
Affiliation:
Centre de Biologie et Ecologie Tropicale, UMR CNRS 5555, Université de Perpignan, Avenue de Villeneuve, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

A survey of parasites was conducted on 258 Symphodus ocellatus (Teleostei: Labridae) collected in Corsica National Park (west Mediterranean). In addition, the total length, sex and social status were recorded for each individual fish. Three species of trematodes were found in the digestive tract. One of the parasites, Genitocotyle mediterranea, was only present, with one exception, in males of large size, and principally in the individuals that had the highest status and that were involved in nest construction. Two hypotheses are suggested to explain this particular distribution of a parasite: the immunocompetence handicap and the changing trophic behaviour as the fish grows.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Cambridge University Press 2000

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