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Community structure of helminth parasites of the tuna, Euthynnus affinis, from the Visakhapatnam coast, Bay of Bengal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2007

R. Madhavi
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India
B.K. Sai Ram
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India

Abstract

An analysis is made of the community structure of the helminth parasites of the tuna Euthynnus affinis collected off the coast of Visakhapatnam, Bay of Bengal. The helminth fauna comprised 23 species, consisting of two monogeneans, 18 digeneans, one larval cestode, one nematode and one acanthocephalan. Didymozoids, represented by 14 species, were the dominant members of the parasite spectrum. The parasite assemblage is characterized by species richness as well as a high diversity. Most of the parasites found, the didymozoids in particular, were host specialists, exhibiting a high degree of host specificity. The fauna comprised three core species, four satellite species and many secondary species, with no potential for interaction among them but the degree of predictability is high in that each infracommunity comprised two or three core species superimposed by a few secondary species. Many host factors such as the varied diet, high vagility, long life span and endothermy appear to have contributed to the development of the species rich and diverse parasite communities in the tuna. There was evidence for a decrease in parasite density and an increase in diversity with increase in host size, indicating that host size has a profound influence on the component community structure.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Cambridge University Press 2000

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Community structure of helminth parasites of the tuna, Euthynnus affinis, from the Visakhapatnam coast, Bay of Bengal
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