Zoogeography of fish parasites of the pearlside (Maurolicus muelleri), with genetic evidence of Anisakis simplex (s.s.) from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
A total of 200 Maurolicus muelleri from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and the Norwegian Deep (ND) were studied for parasitic helminths. Two different metazoans were isolated from the MAR and five species from the ND. The predominant parasite species in both areas were tetraphyllidean cestode larvae (Scolex pleuronectis) and the anisakid nematode Anisakis simplex sensu stricto (s.s.), the latter being identified using genetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1, ITS-2) and 5.8S regions of the rDNA. The parasite fauna of M. muelleri from the MAR was less species rich in comparison to ND, due to the deep-sea and oceanic environment. The digeneans Brachyphallus crenatus and Lecithaster confusus as well as the raphidascarid fish nematode Hysterothylacium aduncum were only collected from the ND. This can be explained either by the deep origin of the sampled fish specimens or the lack of suitable intermediate or final hosts in the region. Based on the frequent occurrence of A. simplex (s.s.) around the MAR and the ND, a pelagic life cycle is suggested at both localities, involving baleen and toothed whales as final and pelagic and mesopelagic fish and invertebrates as intermediate or paratenic hosts.
KeywordsIntermediate Host Sibling Species Killer Whale Parasite Fauna Final Host
We would like to thank Prof. R. Gasser for helpful comments of an earlier draft of the manuscript. The scientific staff and the crew of the Norwegian research vessel G.O. Sars are thanked for their help during the collection of the material. This study was initiated by the international Census of Marine Life project Mar-Eco coordinated by the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway. The present study was supported by the German Research Council (DFG KL 2087/1-1, PA 664/4-1) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD Klimpel D/05/51605).
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