Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK


A Desseria sp. from flathead mullet in South Africa

N.J.  Smit a1, J.C.  Eiras a2, M.J.T.  Ranzani-Paiva a3 and A.J.  Davies a4
a1 Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
a2 Departamento de Zoologia e Antropologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
a3 Instituto de Pesca, Av. Francisco Matarazzo 455, 05031-900 São Paulo, Brasil
a4 School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. E-mail:


Five of 26 flathead mullet (Mugil cephalus) captured in the Seekoei River estuary in South Africa showed haemogregarine infections. Both trophozoites and gamonts were observed, and image analysis technology was used in parasite morphometric description. Gamonts were compared with those of Desseria mugili from Brazil and found to be different. The parasite mostly closely matched a haemogregarine previously illustrated, but not described from South Africa, and apparent lack of merogony suggested that it was a species of Desseria.

(Received May 22 2002)
(Accepted July 17 2002)