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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 130:37-43 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03249

Octopus maya parasites off the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. I. Faunal assemblages

Sergio Guillén-Hernández1,*, Atzelby López-Struck1, Carlos González-Salas1, M. Leopoldina Aguirre-Macedo2

1Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Departamento de Biología Marina, Km. 15.5 Carretera Mérida-Xmatkuil, Apdo. Postal 4-116, Itzimná Mérida, Yucatán, México
2Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Departamento de Recursos del Mar, Carretera Antigua a Progreso Km 6 Cordemex, CP 97310, Mérida, Yucatán, México
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The red octopus Octopus maya Voss et Solís-Ramírez, 1966 is an endemic species found exclusively off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico; its fishery is one of the most important along the Atlantic coast of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. To date, the parasite fauna of Octopus spp. in southern Mexico remains unknown. In this study, we present the parasite fauna of O. maya from 8 localities along the Yucatán Peninsula. From August 2009 to June 2010, a total of 1202 specimens of O. maya were caught by artisanal fisheries and examined. Twenty parasite taxa were recorded from all octopus examined: 7 cestodes, 8 digeneans, 3 nematodes, 1 copepod and 1 coccidian. All taxa are new records for this host species, and the sampled locations represent new records of the geographic distribution of these parasite taxa. The gills and the intestine were the micro-habitats in which the highest number of taxa were found. More than half of the parasites (13 taxa) that we found infected O. maya via its feeding habits, although a high number of taxa (n = 9) colonized via active transmission. Cestoda and Digenea were the taxonomic groups with the highest number of taxa. Prochristianella sp. showed the highest prevalence and mean abundance values in the localities where it was present. This work represents the first study on the parasite fauna of any cephalopod species in Mexico.


KEY WORDS: Red octopus · Cestode · Digenean · Parasite · Yucatán Peninsula · Mexico


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Cite this article as: Guillén-Hernández S, López-Struck A, González-Salas C, Aguirre-Macedo ML (2018) Octopus maya parasites off the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. I. Faunal assemblages. Dis Aquat Org 130:37-43. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03249

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