MEPS 315:249-257 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps315249

Diet and metazoan parasites of silver scabbard fish Lepidopus caudatus from the Great Meteor Seamount (North Atlantic)

Sven Klimpel1,*, Sonja Rückert1,2, Uwe Piatkowski3, Harry W. Palm1,4, Reinhold Hanel3

1Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Institute of Zoomorphology, Cell Biology and Parasitology, Universitätsstraße 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, Fahrenheitstraße 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Research Division of Marine Ecology, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
4Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Bogor Agricultural University, Campus IPB Darmaga, Bogor 16680, Indonesia

ABSTRACT: Silver scabbard fish Lepidopus caudatus (Euphrasen, 1788) (Trichiuridae) from the Great Meteor Seamount (GMS) in the central eastern Atlantic were studied for diet composition and metazoan parasites. A total of 36 specimens with lengths between 39.1 and 52.2 cm were sampled, which had taken 14 different prey items belonging to 4 major taxonomic groups (Chaetognatha, Crustacea, Mollusca and Teleostei). The most abundant prey organisms were Myctophidae and Euphausiacea, followed by Copepoda (Calanoida), Decapoda, Chaetognatha and Cephalopoda. Fishes were also the dominant prey in terms of biomass. Cannibalism was observed in 7 specimens of subadult L. caudatus. A total of 11 parasite species were identified in/on L. caudatus. We established 9 new host and 8 new locality records. Infestation rates were congruent with diet composition, indicating that parasites were ingested via mesopelagic prey organisms serving as intermediate hosts. The rich parasite fauna in L. caudatus reflects a high diversity of mesopelagic species at the GMS, providing niches for parasites and their intermediate hosts. While several species such as Paradiplectanotrema lepidopi (Monogenea) and Nybelinia lingualis (Cestoda) are typical parasites of L. caudatus, other species such as Sphyriocephalus tergestinus (Cestoda), Anisakis simplex (Nematoda) and Bolbosoma vasculosum (Acanthocephala) seem to be transferred by hosts migrating into the area, indicating an important role of the GMS in the transoceanic distribution patterns of such parasites.


KEY WORDS: Lepidopus caudatus · Metazoan parasites · Diet composition · Biotic relationships · Diversity · Zoogeography · Seamount


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