Inter-Research > MEPS > v431 > p215-222  

MEPS 431:215-222 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09108

Larval parasite gene sequence data reveal cryptic trophic links in life cycles of porbeagle shark tapeworms

Haseeb S. Randhawa1,*, Paul Brickle2,3

1Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
2Falkland Islands Government, Directorate of Natural Resources, Stanley FIQQ 1ZZ, Falkland Islands
3School of Biological Sciences (Zoology), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK

ABSTRACT: The lack of information on marine tapeworm life cycles can be addressed with knowledge derived from trophic interactions in marine environments. These trophically transmitted parasites exploit transmission routes involving predator–prey interactions. Porbeagle sharks Lamna nasus are apex predators feeding on a wide range of organisms, including teleosts and cephalopods. Although the biology of this shark species is relatively well studied, there is a surprising lack of information about the trophic interactions involving this species that lead to the acquisition of tapeworms. Recently, the use of molecular tools, combined with phylogenetics, has proven useful in identifying trophic links involved in the transmission of marine tapeworms. In the present study, we used sequence data from the D2 domain of the large subunit ribosomal DNA to link adult tapeworms of the species Clistobothrium cf. montaukensis and Dinobothrium sp. parasitising porbeagle sharks to larvae recovered from the squid Doryteuthis gahi. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first to provide empirical evidence for a trophic link between porbeagle sharks and D. gahi as a definitive route for the successful transmission of these tapeworms. Furthermore, our data suggest an ontogenetic shift in diet away from squid. Parasite abundance data in D. gahi indicate that the abundance of porbeagle sharks can be significant in some years.


KEY WORDS: Life cycle · Lamna nasus · Tetraphyllidea · Clistobothrium · Dinobothrium · ­Doryteuthis gahi · D2 domain · Large subunit ribosomal DNA · Falkland Islands


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Cite this article as: Randhawa HS, Brickle P (2011) Larval parasite gene sequence data reveal cryptic trophic links in life cycles of porbeagle shark tapeworms. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 431:215-222. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09108

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