Quantitative changes in the parasite communities of the flounder Hippoglossina macrops (Steindachner) were studied along a depth gradient. Samples were obtained from the waters off Coquimbo, Chile (29°18′S to 30°50′S), at depths ranging from 160 to 342 m. Samples were assigned to 3 depths, i.e., shallow water (less than 200 m), midwater (from 200 to 300 m), and deep water (more than 300 m). Twelve parasite species were recorded: Neoheterobothrium chilensis and Entobdella hippoglossi (Monogenea); Holobomolochus chilensis and Protochondria longicauda (Copepoda); Gliptonobdella sp. (Hirudinea); Nybelinia surmenicola, Scolex pleuronectis, and Neobothriocephalus adspinosus (Cestoda); Floridosentis sp. and Corynosoma australe (Acanthocephala); Anisakidae (Nematoda); and an unidentified hemiurid (Digenea). Univariate analyses showed that C. australe has its highest prevalence and mean intensity of infection in hosts from shallow waters. Floridosentis sp. showed significant differences along the depth gradient, with higher mean intensity and prevalence of infection in fish from midwater. Among the ectoparasites, only N. chilensis exhibited differences in mean intensity with depth, where intensity of infection increased with depth of host habitat. A canonical multivariate analysis demonstrated that parasite burdens can be a good predictor of the environment (shallow, mid-, or deep water) occupied by the flounders.
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