Publication details

Posthodiplostomum cuticola (Digenea: Diplostomatidae) in intemediate fish hosts: factors contributing to the parasite infection and prey selection by the definitive bird host



Year of publication 2004
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Parasitology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Ecology
Keywords fish assemblages; intermediate host; definitive host; complex life-cycle
Description Infection parameters of Posthodiplostomum cuticola, a digenean parasite with a complex life cycle were investigated in fish (the second intermediate host) from six floodplain water bodies over 2 years. A broad range of factors related to abiotic character of localities, density of the first intermediate (planorbid snails) and definitive (wading birds) hosts and fish community structure was tested for their effects on P. cuticola infection in juvenile and adult fish. Characters of the littoral zone and flood duration were found to be important factors for the presence of the first intermediate and definitive hosts. Visitation time of definitive bird host was also related to adult fish host density. Localities with P. cuticola infected fish were visited by the higher number of bird species. Infection of P. cuticola in fish and similarities in infection among fish host assemblages were correlated with fish host density and fish species composition. Parasite infection in both adult and juvenile fishes was associated with the slope of the bank and the bottom type, in particular in juvenile fish assemblages with snail host density. We conclude that habitat characteristics, snail host deinsity and fish community structure contribute significantly to P. cuticola infection in fish hosts.
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