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Neotropical Ichthyology

versão impressa ISSN 1679-6225versão On-line ISSN 1982-0224

Resumo

CARVALHO, Lucélia Nobre; ARRUDA, Rafael  e  DEL-CLARO, Kleber. Host-parasite interactions between the piranha Pygocentrus nattereri (Characiformes: Characidae) and isopods and branchiurans (Crustacea) in the rio Araguaia basin, Brazil. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2004, vol.2, n.2, pp.93-98. ISSN 1982-0224.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252004000200006.

In the tropics, studies on the ecology of host-parasite interactions are incipient and generally related to taxonomic aspects. The main objective of the present work was to analyze ecological aspects and identify the metazoan fauna of ectoparasites that infest the piranha, Pygocentrus nattereri. In May 2002, field samples were collected in the rio Araguaia basin, State of Goiás (Brazil). A total of 252 individuals of P. nattereri were caught with fishhooks and 32.14% were infested with ectoparasite crustaceans. The recorded ectoparasites were branchiurans, Argulus sp. and Dolops carvalhoi and the isopods Braga patagonica, Anphira branchialis and Asotana sp. The prevalence and mean intensity of branchiurans (16.6% and 1.5, respectively) and isopods (15.5% and 1.0, respectively) were similar. Isopods were observed in the gills of the host; branchiurans were more frequent where the skin was thinner, and facilitated attachment and feeding. The ventral area, the base of the pectoral fin and the gular area were the most infested areas. The correlations between the standard length of the host and the variables intensity and prevalence of crustaceans parasitism, were significant only for branchiurans (rs = 0.2397, p = 0.0001; c2 = 7.97; C = 0.19). These results suggest that both feeding sites and body size probably play an important role in the distribution and abundance of ectoparasites.

Palavras-chave : Serrasalminae; Cymothoidae; Argulidae; ectoparasitism; Amazon basin.

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