Habitat selection and maturation of Saccocoelioides nanii (Digenea: Haploporidae) in Prochilodus argenteus (Actinopterygii: Prochilodontidae) from the São Francisco River, Brazil


Zoologia (Curitiba)




This work examined the possible preference of Saccocoelioides nanii Szidat, 1954 for the three major intestinal portions of Prochilodus argenteus Agassiz, 1829 and statistically evaluated whether the river water level dynamic interfered in the parasite's ecological parameters and in its transmission to the definitive host. One-hundred-fifty specimens of P. argenteus were collected in July, 2003 (dry season) and in January, 2004 (rainy season) in the upper São Francisco River, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Of the 150 hosts, 96 (64%) were parasitized by S. nanii. The mean intensity and abundance were 32.6 ± 34.8 and 20.8 ± 31.9, respectively, and the range of infection intensity was from 1 to 177. The abundance of S. nanii was higher in the middle intestine than in either the anterior or posterior portions. This selection could be evidence of niche restriction to facilitate mating. The proportion of non-pregnant specimens of S. nanii was higher in the dry season as well as the intensity and abundance. At least two hypotheses can be considered for elucidated this inference: the presence/absence or change in the quantity of some substance in the host body amending/inhibits the reproduction of the parasite or that non-pregnant specimens corresponds to newly recruited individuals who did not have time to reproduce.

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