Is body size or activity of copepods related to ingestion of parasite larvae?

a1 Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology, August Thienemann Strasse 2, D-24306 Plön, Germany

Article author query
van der veen i   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


This study shows that ingestion of Schistocephalus solidus coracidia was related to general activity of Macrocyclops albidus copepods at the time of exposure. The lower the activity of the host, the fewer parasites it ingested. In an earlier study it was shown that large M. albidus copepods were less likely to become infected with S. solidus than small copepods, which could potentially be caused by differential ingestion of parasites. However, the current study did not show any evidence for such an effect arising through differential ingestion. Body size was not related to ingestion of parasites, but was positively correlated to activity. So, even though size did not significantly relate to ingestion of parasites, if anything, through their higher activity large copepods rather than small copepods may have ingested more parasites. This study indicates that differences in resistance to this parasite do not come about through differential ingestion of parasites. Also, an earlier study failed to show differential elimination of the parasite from the haemocoel. This leaves avoidance of penetration through the gut wall as the most plausible candidate causing large copepods to be more resistant to this parasite than small copepods.

(Received August 5 2002)
(Revised September 14 2002)
(Accepted September 14 2002)

Key Words: Schistocephalus solidus; Macrocyclops albidus; parasite resistance; host–parasite co-evolution; body size; ingestion.

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