Publication details

Morhometric correlates of host specificity in Dactylogyrus species (Monogenea) parasites of European Cyprinid fish

Investor logo


Year of publication 2001
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Parasitology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords adaptation; host specificity; fish monogeneans; morphometric deterninamts; simulated phylogenies
Description We test the hypothesis that living on larger fish may impose constrains, i.e. the need to develop large attachment organs, related to the necessity to remain attached on large gills. For this, we compiled data on body size and morphometric maesurements of attachment organs of 44 Dactylogyrus species from 19 cyprinid fishes. Nineteen dactylogyrid species were considered as specialists and 25 as generalists. The lack of phylogenetic information lead us to perform comparative analyses using raw values and independant contrast obtained by random phylogenies. Our results show that rich parasite communities are formed by specialists and generalists, whereas poor communities are composed mainly of generalit parasites. Moreover, specialists are found on larger hosts, which may reflect a specialization on a predictable resource, as larger fish love longer and offer large gills for parasite colonization. Parasite specialization is shown to be linked with adaptation of attachment organs to their fish hosts. Two morphometric variables of the attachment organ, the total lenght of anchor and length of base of anchor, were positively correlated with host length for specialists.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info