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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.47, No. 2, 2002, 159-162
Zdzitowiecki Krzysztof - Occurrence of Digenea in fishes of the family Channichthyidae in the Weddell Sea and other sub-continental areas of the Antarctica.

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

As a result of the examination in the Weddell Sea of 59 channichthyid fishes belonging to six species, only three fish specimens of two species, Chionodraco hamatus (one of 20) and Cryodraco antarcticus (two of seven), were found to be infected with Digenea. Three digenean species, Macvicaria georgiana, Derogenes johnstoni and Glomericirrus macrouri, were recognized. The infection was extremely low - one or two parasites in each infected fish. All these digenean species are more abundant in the Weddell Sea in other fishes. Results were compared with literature data for three other Antarctic areas, the environs of Adelie Land, the South Shetland Islands and the Ross Sea (off Terra Nova Bay). Channichthyidae are much more highly infected in these areas and with higher diversity of parasites - in total 12 species. The low infection of channichthyids in the Weddell Sea is probably associated with the presence of shelf glaciers (instead of a sub-coastal environment) and the feeding of these fishes mainly on pelagic organisms. No one digenean species is specific for Channichthyidae, but in areas others than the Weddell Sea Channichthyidae are important hosts of eight digenean species.

KEY WORDS: Digenea, diversity, fishes, Channichthyidae, Weddell Sea, Antarctica
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