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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 105:9-20 (2013)  -  DOI:

Nyctiphanes couchii as intermediate host for Rhadinorhynchus sp. (Acanthocephala, Echinorhynchidae) from NW Iberian Peninsula waters

M. Gregori1, F. J. Aznar2, E. Abollo3, A. Roura1, A. F. González1, S. Pascual1,*

1Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC), Vigo 36208, Spain
2Departamento de Biología Animal, Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universitat de València, 46701 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain
3Centro Tecnológico del Mar, Fundación Cetmar, Vigo 36208, Spain
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: In the mesozooplanktonic community of the coastal upwelling system of the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain), the euphausiid Nyctiphanes couchii has been identified for the first time in temperate waters of the NE Atlantic as the intermediate host for cystacanths of Rhadinorhynchus sp. Parasites were identified using morphological characters described in 20 cystacanths. The hooks of the proboscis were arranged in 14 rows of 26 hooks each, while the hooks of the basal circle were only slightly erected and were longer than remaining spines. A maximum-likelihood estimation (ML) tree inferred from the 18S rRNA data set of Palaeacantocephala revealed that our specimens belong to a highly supported clade with Rhadinorhynchus sp., Pararhadinorhynchus sp. and Transvena annulospinosa. Nonetheless, our morphological and phylogenetic analyses suggested that the status of Rhadinorhynchus pristis should be re-examined. The prevalences of parasites were 0.0019% and 0.0001% for frontal and coastal summer communities, and 0.0068% and 0.0008% for coastal and oceanic autumn communities, respectively. The presence of these cystacanths in different mesozooplankton communities throughout the study suggests that the recruitment of parasites may be affected by the oceanography.

KEY WORDS: Cystacanth · Euphausiid · Nyctiphanes couchii · Rhadinorhynchus sp. · Zooplankton · Acanthocephalan · NE Atlantic

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Cite this article as: Gregori M, Aznar FJ, Abollo E, Roura A, González AF, Pascual S (2013) Nyctiphanes couchii as intermediate host for Rhadinorhynchus sp. (Acanthocephala, Echinorhynchidae) from NW Iberian Peninsula waters. Dis Aquat Org 105:9-20.

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