a1 Departmant of Zoology, School of Biology, University of Tehran, Iran
a2 Department of Aquatic Animal Disease, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran
a3 Faculty of Health and Hygiene, School of Medical Sciences, University of Tehran, Iran
In the present study, 81 specimens of Capoeta capoeta gracilis (Keyserling, 1861) were collected from the Shiroud River, the Caspian drainage basin, Iran in June and October 2007. The fish were examined for infection with the nematode Rhabdochona fortunatowi (Dinnik, 1933). Nematodes were counted and sexed, then the sex ratio and intestinal site preference of the R. fortunatowi individuals and the intersexual interactions of the parasites were investigated. Significant differences were observed in the prevalence and intensity of infection in relation to host size and sampling season, but not host sex. Parasite burden (mean intensity) was higher in October than in June and the results revealed a decrease in female-to-male sex ratio (FMR) in the fish in October compared to the ones in June. In other words, as the mean intensity of infection of R. fortunatowi increases, the proportion of male worms increases, too. The female-biased sex ratio in June was replaced by a male-biased one in October. Nematode distribution rose to a significant peak in the mid-region of the fish intestine relative to the anterior and posterior parts. Some changes in the distribution of male and female worms in different parts of the host intestine were also observed during June and October. Density-dependent selection and intersexual competition seem to be the main factors driving such a shift in the sex ratio and its variation in different parts of the host intestine.
(Received April 27 2010)
(Accepted January 06 2011)
(Online publication February 09 2011)