DAO 97:219-225 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02421

Metazoan parasites on the gills of the skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Osteichthyes: Scombridae) from the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea)

Salvatore Mele1,2,*, David Macías3, María J. Gómez-Vives3, Giovanni Garippa1, Francisco Alemany2, Paolo Merella1

1Sezione di Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears, 07015 Palma, Spain
3Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Málaga, 29640 Fuengirola (Málaga), Spain

ABSTRACT: The gills of 31 skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (L.) caught in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea) were examined for metazoan parasites, and the gills of 4 specimens from the Balearic Sea (also western Mediterranean Sea) were analysed for comparative purposes. Nine ­species of parasites were found, including 8 didymozoid trematodes (Atalostrophion cf. bio­varium, Didymocylindrus filiformis, Didymocylindrus simplex, Didymocystis reniformis, Didymoproblema fusiforme, Didymozoon longicolle, Koellikeria sp. and Lobatozoum multisacculatum) and 1 caligid copepod (Caligus bonito). Koellikeria sp. and L. multisacculatum were not recorded in the Balearic Sea. Most of the parasites (79.2% of all specimens) were didymozoids. Didymozoon longicolle was the dominant species; A. cf. biovarium, D. simplex, D. fusiforme and L. multisacculatum are reported from the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. No correlation was found between the intensity of infection of any parasite species and host size or sex. Most of the parasites, particularly didymozoids, showed a high site-specificity. Significant differences were found between the parasite assemblages of K. pelamis from the Alboran Sea and from the Atlantic Ocean. D. fusiforme, D. longicolle and L. multisacculatum are suggested as potential tags to follow skipjack tuna migrations between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.


KEY WORDS: Katsuwonus pelamis · Didymozoidae · Caligidae · Gill parasites · Biological tags · Site specificity · Mediterranean Sea


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Cite this article as: Mele S, Macías D, Gómez-Vives MJ, Garippa G, Alemany F, Merella P (2012) Metazoan parasites on the gills of the skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Osteichthyes: Scombridae) from the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea). Dis Aquat Org 97:219-225. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02421

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