Two monogeneans species, Polylabris mamaevi Ogawa & Egusa, 1980 and Tetrancistrum nebulosi Young, 1967, are sympatric on the gills of Siganus fuscescens (Houttugn, 1782) in the South China Sea. An investigation into their distribution on the host's gills based on monthly samples from both wild and caged populations revealed that these 2 species co-occurred on the same gill arches, but they were segregated. P. mamaevi attached to the distal half of the gill filaments, whereas T. nebulosi attached to the proximal half. This difference may partly be attributed to microhabitat specialization. Microhabitat distributions were intensity dependent for both species. As intensity increased, monogeneans were increasingly found on the second, third, and even fourth gill arches, and niche breadths increased. The changes in distribution and niche breadths at the host gill arch level in relation to differences in host size and sampling period were considered to represent a functional response to increased intensity. Differences in host resources, in either net-caged or wild populations, did not significantly influence the parasite distributions at the host gill arch level. Simultaneous infections of these 2 species were common, but there was no evidence of negative interspecific interactions.

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