Gyrodactylid population growth may depend on abiotic variables such as temperature. We tested the survival and reproductive rate of Gyrodactylus mexicanus, a parasite infecting fins of Girardinichthys multiradiatus, at 3 different water temperatures, 10–13, 19–22, and 24 C. The temporal sequence of birth and age at death of each parasite isolated from the hosts was recorded through at least 8 generations. Our results showed that the average number of offspring per parasite was 2.0 when averaged across all temperatures. However, the generation time was negatively correlated with temperature. The innate capacity for increase (rm) was positively correlated with water temperature: from 0.29 parasite/day at 13 C to 0.48 parasite/day at 24 C. These data confirm that water temperature has a direct influence on parasite population dynamics. The current study represents the first contribution to understanding the population ecology of the monogenean G. mexicanus in central Mexico.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6