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Parasites of Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758) in the north-eastern Aegean Sea

  • Vasileios Bakopoulos (a1), Euaggelia Tsepa (a1), Anastasia Diakou (a2), Giorgos Kokkoris (a1), Markos Nikolaos Kolygas (a3) and Foteini Athanassopoulou (a3)...

The parasitic fauna of the small-spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula in the north-eastern Aegean Sea was investigated. Twenty-one out of the 52 (prevalence 40.4%) specimens collected were found infected with parasites; an arthropod and two nematode genera. Seven specimens (prevalence 13.5%) were infected by a Neoalbionella sp. copepod. Ten and 14 specimens were infected by the nematodes Proleptus obtusus (prevalence 19.2%) and Anisakis sp. (prevalence 26.9%), respectively. Female S. canicula specimens were significantly more heavily infected during autumn and when the whole sampling period is considered. Nematode infection was significantly related to season, becoming progressively heavier from spring to autumn. No correlation was found between TL of specimens and number of parasites for males or females, irrespective of gender. The present study provided a first record of Neoalbionella sp., P. obtusus and Anisakis sp. infections of S. canicula in the north-eastern Mediterranean. The lower prevalence of Proleptus obtusus and the higher prevalence of Anisakis sp. infection recorded in this study may be due to prey availability and parasite populations in this locality.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: V. Bakopoulos Laboratory of Ichthyology, Aquaculture & Aquatic Animals Diseases, Department of Marine Sciences, University of The Aegean, University Hill, Mytilene 81100, Lesvos, Greece email:
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