DAO 125:167-178 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03147

Early development and life cycle of Contracaecum multipapillatum s.l. from a brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis in the Gulf of California, Mexico

Isabel Valles-Vega1,3,*, Dolores Molina-Fernández2,*, Rocío Benítez2, Sergio Hernández-Trujillo1, Francisco Javier Adroher2,**

1Departamento de Plancton y Ecología Marina, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Av. IPN s/n, Col. Playa Santa Rita, 23096-La Paz, Baja California Sur, México
2Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, 18071-Granada, Spain
3Present address: CIBNOR, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C., Km. 1 Carretera a San Juan de La Costa ‘El Comitán’, 23097-La Paz, Baja California Sur, México
*These 2 authors contributed equally to this work**Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The initial developmental stages of Contracaecum multipapillatum (von Drasche, 1882) Lucker, 1941 sensu lato were studied using eggs obtained from the uteri of female nematodes (genetically identified) found in a brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis from Bahía de La Paz (Gulf of California, Mexico). Optical microscopy revealed a smooth or slightly rough surface to the eggs. Egg dimensions were approximately 53 × 43 µm, although after the larvae had developed inside, egg size increased to 66 × 55 µm. Hatching and survival of the larvae were greater at 15°C than at 24°C, and increased salinity resulted in a slight increase in hatching but seemed to reduce survival at 24°C, but not at 15°C. The recently hatched larvae measured 261 × 16 µm within their sheath. When placed in culture medium, the larvae grew within their sheath, and a small percentage (~2%) exsheathed completely (314 × 19 µm). The larvae continued to grow and develop once they had exsheathed, attaining mean dimensions of 333 × 22 µm. Although they did not moult during culture, optical microscopy revealed a morphology typical of third-stage larvae. Finally, the genetic identity between the larval parasites collected from mullet Mugil curema and adult female parasites collected from the brown pelican suggests a life cycle of C. multipapillatum in which the mullet are involved as intermediate/paratenic hosts and the brown pelicans as final hosts in the geographical area of Bahía de La Paz.


KEY WORDS: Contracaecum multipapillatum · Nematoda · Anisakidae · Fish parasite · Genetic identification · Development · Aquatic life cycle · Mullet · Brown pelican · Gulf of California


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Cite this article as: Valles-Vega I, Molina-Fernández D, Benítez R, Hernández-Trujillo S, Adroher FJ (2017) Early development and life cycle of Contracaecum multipapillatum s.l. from a brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Dis Aquat Org 125:167-178. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03147

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