a1 Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Facultad de Recursos del Mar, Universidad de Antofagasta, PO Box 170, Antofagasta, Chile
The aims of the present study were to compare, using multivariate analyses, the degree of similarity of the endoparasite fauna of five fish species belonging to the order Gadiformes: Merluccius gayi, Merluccius australis, Macruronus magellanicus (Gadoidei) and Micromesistius australis and Nezumia pulchella (Macrouroidei), from the southern and central Chilean coast, and to evaluate whether the composition of the endoparasite fauna was determined by phylogenetic or ecological relationships. We employed our database of Merluccius australis, M. magellanicus and Micromesistius australis, which was complemented with published information for M. magellanicus, Merluccius australis, Micromesistius australis, M. gayi and N. pulchella. A higher number of endoparasite species was recorded for Merluccius australis, Micromesistius australis and M. magellanicus, namely Anisakis sp. and Hepatoxylon trichiuri, which is the most prevalent parasite among these hosts. Aporocotyle wilhelmi and Hysterothylacium sp. were detected only in M. gayi, whereas Lepidapedon sp. was found exclusively in N. pulchella. These results suggest that fish ecology rather than host phylogeny was the most important factor for the determination of similarity in parasite composition. This result could be explained by the similar trophic patterns of hosts and by the predominance of generalist larval species among these fish parasite communities.
(Received July 07 2010)
(Accepted December 13 2010)
(Online publication January 21 2011)