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Parasites as biological tags for Eleginops maclovinus (Teleostei: Eleginopidae) around the Falkland Islands

  • Paul Brickle (a1) and Ken MacKenzie (a2)

This is the first study of the parasite fauna of Eleginops maclovinus in the Falkland Islands. It was undertaken to catalogue the parasite fauna of E. maclovinus in order to provide a baseline for future studies and to determine whether parasites might be used as biological tags. Between 21 January and 17 March 2002 samples were taken from three stations, Teal Creek (30 fish), Port Louis (30 fish) and Camilla Creek (10 fish), all in East Falkland, and examined for protozoan and metazoan parasites. Twenty-four parasite taxa were recorded, of which three were possible new species, two new host records and five new geographical records. Because of the small number of fish in the Camilla Creek sample it was excluded from further analyses. E. maclovinus is a protandrous hermaphrodite and all fish greater than 53 cm total length were found to be female, so these too were excluded from further analyses. The parasite data from the remaining fish were analysed by an agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis using an average linkage and a Jaccard measure of similarity, followed by a linear discriminant function analysis (LDA). Both analyses misclassified only one fish from Port Louis as being from Teal Creek, with the LDA giving an overall correct classification of 97.5% (39/40). The results support mechanical tagging data in suggesting that smaller male E. maclovinus are resident in the creeks in which they are caught, and that at this stage of their lives they tend not to migrate over long distances.

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