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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.47, No. 2, 2002, 154-158
Zdzitowiecki Krzysztof - Occurrence of Digenea in fishes of the family Nototheniidae in the Weddell Sea.

W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa and Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Ustrzycka 10, 02-141 Warszawa; Poland

In total, 11 digenean species, Macvicaria georgiana, M. microtestis, Helicometra rakusai, Lepidapedon balgueriasi, L. garrardi, Neolepidapedon trematomi, Derogenes johnstoni, Gonocerca phycidis, Genolinea bowersi, Elytrophalloides oatesi and Glomericirrus macrouri, were found in the alimentary tract of fishes of the family Nototheniidae in the Weddell Sea. The pelagic fish, Aethotaxis mitopteryx, was free of Digenea; eight benthic and bentho-pelagic species of the genus Trematomus were infected. The highest level of the infection was found for T. loennbergi (diversity of parasites - 10 species, prevalence 76%, intensity up to 23 specimens, mean abundance 5.00). The total number of digenean species occurring in Nototheniidae in subcontinental waters and off the South Shetland Islands was found to be 21. The diversity of parasites in the Weddell Sea (11) was similar to those in three other areas, off the South Shetland Islands (12), off Adelie Land (11) and in the Ross Sea (12), but the level of infection in the Weddell Sea was much lower, especially much lower than in the South Shetland Islands area. It is probably related to the lack of shallow sub-coastal waters in the Weddell Sea (presence of shelf glaciers). Four digenean species are probably endemic for the entire Eastern Antarctica, whereas one endemic Antarctic species, M. georgiana, absent in other areas of the Eastern Antarctica, is the dominant species in both the Weddell Sea and the South Shetland Islands areas.

KEY WORDS: Digenea, diversity, fish, Nototheniidae, Weddell Sea, Antarctica
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