Abstract

This study provides a parasitological analysis of the elasmobranch species caught in the northern and central Adriatic Sea. Sixty-two marine leeches were recorded on 747 individuals of Raja clavata Linnaeus, 1758 (thornback ray), Myliobatis aquila Linnaeus, 1758 (common eagle ray), and Torpedo marmorata Risso, 1810 (marbled torpedo ray) caught in 56 hauls over a 5 yr period. All leeches were identified as Pontobdella muricata, which is a typical ectoparasite of benthic elasmobranchs. The prevalence of infection ranged from 7.11% on R. clavata to 12.00% on M. aquila. The intensity of infection, the preferential sites of attachment to the host, and the periodicity of infection were evaluated.

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