DAO 124:55-75 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03106

Seasonal variation in chaetognath and parasite species assemblages along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula

Horacio Lozano-Cobo1, María del Carmen Gómez del Prado-Rosas2, Laura Sánchez-Velasco1, Jaime Gómez-Gutiérrez1,*

1Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Departamento de Plancton y Ecología Marina, Av. IPN s/n, La Paz, BCS 23096, Mexico
2Laboratorio de Parasitología, Departamento Académico de Biología Marina, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Apdo. Postal 19-B, La Paz, BCS 23080, Mexico
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Chaetognaths are abundant carnivores with broad distributions that are intermediate hosts of trophically transmitted parasites. Monthly variations in chaetognath and parasite species distributions, abundance, prevalence, and intensity related to seasonal environmental changes were recorded in 2004 and 2005 in Laguna Nichupté, a coral reef, and the adjoining continental shelf of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Of 12 chaetognath species plus Sagitta spp., only 5 (Ferosagitta hispida, Flaccisagitta enflata, Sagitta spp., Serratosagitta serratodentata, and Pterosagitta draco) were parasitized. These species were parasitized with 33 types of flatworms and unidentified cysts (likely protozoan ciliates), having an overall mean prevalence of 6%. Digenean metacercaria larvae numerically dominated the parasite assemblages. Cluster analysis defined 2 chaetognath species assemblages. One included 7 species inside Laguna Nichupté, where F. hispida was numerically dominant (98.9%); the other contained 13 chaetognath species in the continental shelf-coral reef region, where F. enflata was abundant (53%). Canonical correspondence analysis showed that Laguna Nichupté had highly variable and hostile conditions (relatively low salinity and high temperature) for chaetognath species except for F. hispida. The higher density of F. hispida promoted greater parasite diversity (23 types), dominated by Brachyphallus sp. metacercariae. F. enflata prevailed in the continental shelf-coral reef area, which had stable high salinity and relatively low temperature. Monilicaecum and unidentified digenean ‘type g’ infected 5 chaetognath species on the continental shelf. Distinct primary hosts (mollusks and copepods) and contrasting environmental conditions (salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration, and temperature) between Laguna Nichupté and the continental shelf promoted distinct chaetognath species assemblages, resulting in distinct parasite diversity and prevalence patterns.


KEY WORDS: Endohelminths · Component community · Habitat partitioning · Time series · Caribbean Sea


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Cite this article as: Lozano-Cobo H, Gómez del Prado-Rosas MC, Sánchez-Velasco L, Gómez-Gutiérrez J (2017) Seasonal variation in chaetognath and parasite species assemblages along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Dis Aquat Org 124:55-75. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03106

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