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Parasitological survey of the edible cockle Cerastoderma edule (Bivalvia) on the south coast of Ireland

  • Jan Fermer (a1), Sarah C. Culloty (a1) (a2), Thomas C. Kelly (a1) and Ruth M. O'Riordan (a1)


The edible cockle Cerastoderma edule is one of the most common soft sediment bivalves in Europe and of commercial relevance in some areas of its range. Information on the parasite fauna of cockles is available from several North Sea and Atlantic shore locations. However, little is known from the British Isles in this context. This study provides an inventory of the macroparasites of C. edule sampled from fourteen localities along the south coast of Ireland. Altogether, we identified ten taxa of macroparasites belonging to three major groups. The majority of them were digenean trematodes using cockles as second intermediate host. Infection rates and levels were comparatively low, with the exception of the gymnophallid Meiogymnophallus minutus, which was found to be prevalent at all sampling sites and often very abundant. Whilst parasite species composition in Irish cockles was similar to the one found in conspecifics from northern Europe, it showed distinct differences from the macroparasite fauna reported from C. edule collected in southern Europe and northern Africa.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: J. Fermer, Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland email:


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Parasitological survey of the edible cockle Cerastoderma edule (Bivalvia) on the south coast of Ireland

  • Jan Fermer (a1), Sarah C. Culloty (a1) (a2), Thomas C. Kelly (a1) and Ruth M. O'Riordan (a1)


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