Abstract

Geographic variations in the diversity and prevalence of helminth parasites of fish can provide important clues as to the relatedness of fish populations. In the present work, the stomachs of 64 conger eels, Conger conger, collected during 1999 and 2000, were examined for the presence of parasites. Four fish were infected with L3 stages of the nematode Anisakis simplex s.l. (Anisakidae), 1 with the nematode Cristitectus congeri (Cystidicolidae), 1 with the acanthocephalan Rhadinorhynchus pristis, 17 with postlarvae of Sphyriocephalus tergestinus (Eucestoda: Trypanorhyncha), and 55 with Lecithochirium spp. (Digenea: Hemiuridae). The hemiurids were the most abundant parasites, with a total of 385 individuals recovered. Strong aggregated distributions were found for both the digeneans, Lecithochirium musculus and Lecithochirium fusiforme, with variance-to-mean ratios (s2/x) and index of discrepancy (D) 13.98 and 0.672 (for L. musculus) and 8.08 and 0.90 for L. fusiforme, respectively. Intensity of L. musculus, L. fusiforme, and S. tergestinus showed significant relationships with depth of capture. Differences in number of species and prevalence were found between Madeira and the Atlantic coasts of the Iberian Peninsula.

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