Volume 51/Number 1/Abstract 3
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Acta Parasitologica, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2006, 26-35
Anna Rocka - Helminths of Antarctic fishes: Life cycle biology, specificity and geographical distribution

W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 51/55 Twarda Street, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland
*Corresponding address: abroccy@poczta.onet.pl
Bony fishes (Teleostei) play an important role in the completion of life cycles of helminth parasites in the Antarctica. These fishes may be definitive, second intermediate or paratenic hosts of the helminths. The most species-rich taxon is Digenea. Virtually all of these digeneans use teleosts as definitive hosts. Only one species, Otodistomum cestoides, occurs as the adult stage in skates (Chondrichthyes), with teleosts as its second intermediate host. Among 14 cestode species maturing in fishes only one, Parabothriocephalus johnstoni, occurs in a bony fish, Macrourus whitsoni, whereas the others are parasites of Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes). Antarctic Chondrichthyes are not infected with nematode and acanthocephalan species. Specificity to the intermediate and/or paratenic hosts of the majority of Antarctic helminths is wide, whereas that for definitive hosts is often narrower, restricted to one order or sometimes even to one or two host species. Almost all of 73 helminth species maturing in Antarctic fishes are endemics. Only 4 digenean and one nematode species are cosmopolitan or bipolar.
KEY WORDS: Helminths, fish, biology, specificity, distribution, Antarctica

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