Infestation pattern and parasitic castration of the crustacean Riggia paranensis (Crustacea: Cymothoidea) on the fresh water fish Cyphocharax gilbert (Teleostei: Curimatidae)

Juliana de Souza Azevedo Leonardo Gomes da Silva Carlos Roberto Silveira Fontenelle Bizerri Marilvia Alencar Dansa-Petretski Neuza Rejane Wille Lima About the authors

Cyphocharax gilbert infested by Riggia paranensis shows parasitic castration. The prevalence of parasitism in C. gilbert varied among different environments, being higher in the middle rio Itabapoana. Fish were collected monthly using two cast nets (thrown 30 times during the day) and gillnets kept in the river during 12 hour, from sunset to sunrise, between September 1997 and August 2000. Infestation pattern was investigated on 1358 specimens. Most of them were infested (57.9%), with one or two parasites; the majority (62.9%) was collected during the rainy season (spring-summer). The parasite did not show preference for sex or size of hosts. A total of 91.5% of the 511 examined parasites had a body size that represented 10.1% to 20% of host standard length. The reproductive condition of 311 specimens of R. paranensis was analyzed checking the presence of oocytes in the ovarian and eggs or embryos in the marsupium. Nearly 73% of them were at reproductive phase, and had a body size that represented 5.1% to 20% of host standard length. The size of the immature parasites varied from 0.1% to 5% of the host size. The results suggest that R. paranensis may adopt a fast growth rate strategy and increase the investment in reproduction when they occupy most of the host's pericardial space.

Body size; Prevalence of parasitism; Parasitic castration; Reproduction

Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura/Coleção Ictiologia, Av. Colombo, 5790, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brasil, Tel.: (55 44)3011 4632 - Maringá - PR - Brazil