A total of 8 helminth species were recorded in an examination of 43 tropical gar, Atractosteus tropicus Gill, collected at the Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve, Tabasco, Mexico. The parasite species included 1 adult trematode, 3 metacercariae, 1 cestode, 1 adult nematode, and 2 nematode larvae. Six of these 8 species were rare, with low prevalence (<17%) and abundance (<1.0 helminths per examined fish). The larvae of Contracaecum sp. were the most abundant in the sample, constituting 60% of the total helminths (64% prevalence, 3.8 ± 5.2 abundance), followed by the cestode Proteocephalus singularis, constituting 18% of the worms (30.5% prevalence, 1.1 ± 3.0 abundance). Species richness, individual parasite abundance, and diversity were low in the infracommunities. The recording of 3 specialist species in the tropical gar confirms that the helminth fauna of gar has an appreciable degree of specificity. This study indicates the importance of ecological determinants of richness in helminth communities of the tropical gar.
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