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1 February 2005 INFRACOMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF PARASITES OF HEMIGYMNUS MELAPTERUS (PISCES: LABRIDAE) FROM LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA: THE IMPORTANCE OF HABITAT AND PARASITE BODY SIZE
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Abstract

This study describes the community of all metazoan parasites from 14 individuals of thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, from Lizard Island, Australia. All fish were parasitized, and 4,649 parasite individuals were found. Twenty-six parasite species were identified although only 6 species were abundant and prevalent: gnathiid isopods, the copepod Hatschekia hemigymni, the digenean Callohelmis pichelinae, and 3 morphotypes of tetraphyllidean cestode larvae. We analyzed whether the body size and microhabitat of the parasites and size of the host affected understanding of the structure of the parasite community. We related the abundance, biovolume, and density of parasites with the host body size and analyzed the abundances and volumetric densities of some parasite species within microhabitats. Although the 2 most abundant species comprised 75% of all parasite individuals, 4 species, each in similar proportion, comprised 85% of the total biovolume. Although larger host individuals had higher richness, abundance, and biovolume of parasites than smaller individuals, overall parasite volumetric density actually decreased with the host body size. Moreover, parasites exhibited abundances and densities significantly different among microhabitats; some parasite species depended on the area available, whereas others selected a specific microhabitat. Parasite and habitat size exhibited interesting relationships that should be considered more frequently. Considerations of these parameters improve understanding of parasite community structure and how the parasites use their habitats.

Gabriela Muñoz and Thomas H. Cribb "INFRACOMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF PARASITES OF HEMIGYMNUS MELAPTERUS (PISCES: LABRIDAE) FROM LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA: THE IMPORTANCE OF HABITAT AND PARASITE BODY SIZE," Journal of Parasitology 91(1), 38-44, (1 February 2005). https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-3321
Received: 16 September 2003; Accepted: 1 April 2004; Published: 1 February 2005
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