Galaxias maculatus (small puyen) is an abundant native fish distributed in lakes and rivers of the Patagonia, and it is the frequent prey of other fishes, fish-eating birds, and mammals. Previous studies have shown that it is parasitized by 33 metazoan species and that the richness and composition of the parasite communities vary between lakes. The aim of the present work was to analyze the relationship between the composition of fish assemblages and the helminth component community structure of G. maculatus. Ten environmentally similar, small, shallow lakes, belonging to the Nahuel Huapi Lake basin, were chosen because of the differences in the native fish assemblages. Parasite community structure in G. maculatus varied according to the fish assemblage of each lake. The presence of the piscivorous fish Percichthys trucha regularly produced variations in the composition and richness at the component and infracommunity levels, as well as the percentage of autogenic parasite species in G. maculatus.
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Vol. 96 • No. 6