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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 70:93-100 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao070093

Macroparasites of five species of ray (genus Raja) on the northwest coast of Spain

M. F. Álvarez1, W. aragort2, J. M. Leiro1, M. L. Sanmartín1,*

1Instituto de Investigación y Análisis Alimentarios (IIAA), Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, C/ Constantino Candeira s/n, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2Unilab–Sanidad Animal, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA), Avenida Principal Las Delicias, Maracay Estado Aragua, Venezuela
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: A parasitological study of rays captured on the Atlantic continental shelf off the estuary Muros-Noia in NW Spain (42°35’ to 42°41’N, 9°2’ to 9°10’W; mean capture depth 11.6 ± 4.1 m) was performed. A total of 128 rays were examined: 52 specimens of Raja microocellata, 60 of R. brachyura, 6 of R. montagui, 3 of R. undulata and 7 of an unidentified Raja species, known locally as ‘fancheca’. A total of 23 macroparasite species were detected: 5 monogeneans (Acanthocotyle sp., Calicotyle kroyeri, Empruthotrema raiae, Merizocotyle undulata, Rajonchocotyle emarginata), 11 cestodes (Acanthobothrium sp., Crossobothrium sp., Echeneibothrium sp., Echinobothrium brachysoma, Grillotia erinaceus, Grillotia sp., Lecanicephalum sp., Nybelinia lingualis, Onchobothrium uncinatum, Phyllobothrium lactuca, Tritaphros retzii), 6 nematodes (Anisakis simplex, Hysterothylacium sp., Histodytes microocellatus, Piscicapillaria freemani, Proleptus sp., Pseudanisakis baylisi) and a copepod (Holobomolochus sp.). All parasite species were present in several ray species, except for Acanthocotyle sp. and G. erinaceus (detected only in R. brachyura), H. microocellatus (detected only in R. microocellata) and T. retzii (detected only in R. montagui). Three species (C. kroyeri, M. undulata, E. brachysoma) have not been reported previously from Spain. The host with the highest parasite species richness was R. brachyura (18 species), followed by R. microocellata (17) and the unidentified Raja species (14). The parasite with the highest prevalence in R. microocellata was M. undulata, followed by R. emarginata, Acanthobothrium sp. and Echeneibothrium sp. The species with the highest prevalence in R. brachyura was R. emarginata, followed by C. kroyeri and P. baylisi. Some differences in parasite prevalence were detected between sexes and among size classes in both R. brachyura and R. microocellata.

KEY WORDS: Raja spp. · Monogenea · Cestoda · Nematoda · Copepoda · Galicia (NW Spain)

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