Parasitism (Trematoda, Digenea) in medusae from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean: medusa hosts, parasite prevalences, and ecological implications

  • Luciana M. Diaz BrizEmail author
  • Sergio R. Martorelli
  • Gabriel N. Genzano
  • Hermes W. Mianzan
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 220)


Digenean are important endoparasites of fish with complex life cycles; some genera include medusae as secondary hosts. Their transmission to fish occurs when fish prey on these jelly hosts. Fish predation on jellyfish is a widespread phenomenon, even though predation by fish on jellyfish has not been determined through parasitism yet. We hypothesized that medusae with high prevalences of digeneans could be important for their transmission to fish. A total of 48,900 specimens of 50 medusa species were analyzed; 2,181 harbored digeneans. Opechona sp. and Monascus filiformis were the most frequent and abundant parasites with the widest range of hosts. Hemiuridae gen. sp. and Bacciger sp. were found in few specimens of some medusa species. Prevalences were unevenly distributed in the region. Three groups with high prevalence values were identified mainly related to frontal areas: Río de la Plata, Bahía Blanca, and North Patagonian tidal front. Eucheilota ventricularis, Clytia hemisphaerica, Proboscidactyla mutabilis, Liriope tetraphylla, and Aequoerea spp. were the medusae that contributed the most as secondary hosts to M. filiformis and Opechona sp. The high prevalences found in these medusae suggest that may be a fundamental part of the life cycles of both parasites in these areas.


Digenean parasites Secondary medusa hosts Final fish hosts Prevalence Estuary and front zones Southwestern Atlantic Ocean 


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We are especially grateful to Ines Silvia Incorvaia (INIDEP) for providing a critical review on the early manuscript, Joanna Browne (Griffith University School of Environment) for correcting grammar and style, Carolina Rodriguez (UNMdP-CONICET) for identifying medusae, and the librarians of INIDEP for providing literature. This study was supported by the following grants to HM and GG: FONCyT PICT 2006 No 1553, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) CRN 2076, which is supported by the US National Science Foundation (grant GEO-0452325), and Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata EXA 546/11, UNMdP. This is INIDEP Contribution No 1724. L. D. B. is supported by CONICET fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciana M. Diaz Briz
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Sergio R. Martorelli
    • 2
  • Gabriel N. Genzano
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hermes W. Mianzan
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Estación Costera Nágera, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, CONICETMar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y Vectores (CEPAVE)CCT LA PLATA, CONICETLa PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)CONICETMar del PlataArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC)Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Mar del PlataArgentina

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