Publication details

Six new species of Cichlidogyrus Paperna, 1960 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from the gills of cichlids (Teleostei: Cichliformes) from the Lomami River Basin (DRC: Middle Congo)

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GERAERTS Mare BUKINGA Fidel Muterezi VANHOVE Maarten Pieterjan PARISELLE Antoine MANDA Auguste Chocha VREVEN Emmanuel HUYSE Tine ARTOIS Tom

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Parasites & Vectors
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Africa; DRC; Cichlidae; Monogenea; Cichlidogyrus; Serranochromis; Tilapia; Orthochromis; Diversity
Description Background Monogenea van Beneden, 1858 is a group of parasitic flatworms, commonly found infecting bony fish. Several genera, such as Cichlidogyrus Paperna, 1960, are reported to include potential pathogenic species that can negatively impact aquaculture fish stocks. They can switch from introduced to native fish and vice versa. In Africa (and all over the world), fish species belonging to Cichlidae are often kept in aquaculture and represent a major source of food. Thus, research on the biodiversity and occurrence of monogenean species on these fish is of importance for aquaculture and conservation. The present study is a survey of the diversity of species of Cichlidogyrus in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on three cichlid species: Orthochromis sp. 'Lomami', Serranochromis cf. macrocephalus, and Tilapia sparrmanii Smith, 1840. Methods Specimens of Cichlidogyrus were isolated from the gills and mounted on glass slides with Hoyer's medium. The genital and haptoral hard parts were measured and drawn using interference contrast. Results In total, six species of Cichlidogyrus were found, all new to science: C. bulbophallus n. sp. and C. pseudozambezensis n. sp. on S. cf. macrocephalus, C. flagellum n. sp. and C. lobus n. sp. on T. sparrmanii, C. ranula n. sp. on S. cf. macrocephalus and Orthochromis sp. 'Lomami', and C. maeander n. sp. found on Orthochromis sp. 'Lomami' and T. sparrmanii. The first four species are considered to be strict specialists, C. ranula n. sp. an intermediate generalist and C. maeander n. sp. a generalist. These parasite species show morphological similarities to species found in the Lower Guinea and Zambezi ichthyofaunal provinces, which might be explained by past river capture events between river systems of the Congo Province and both these regions. Conclusions Serranochromis cf. macrocephalus and Orthochromis sp. 'Lomami' can harbour respectively three and two species of Cichlidogyrus, all described in this study. Tilapia sparrmanii can harbour seven species, of which three are described in the present study. These results highlight the species diversity of this parasite genus in the Congo Basin.
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