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The metazoan parasite communities of the Argentinean sandperch Pseudopercis semifasciata (Pisces: Perciformes) and their use to elucidate the stock structure of the host

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2009

Laboratorio de Parasitología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350 (7600) Mar del Plata, Argentina
Laboratorio de Parasitología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350 (7600) Mar del Plata, Argentina
*Corresponding author. Tel: +54 223 4752426. Fax: +54 223 4753150. E-mail:


The use of parasites as biological tags allowed the identification of 3 stocks of Argentinean sandperch, Pseudopercis semifasciata (Cuvier), in the Argentine Sea. A total of 100 specimens caught in 3 zones: Villa Gesell (37°15′S, 57°23′W; n=20), Miramar (38°03′S, 57°30′W–38°44′S, 58°44′W; n=30) and Península Valdes (42°00′–42°45′S; n=50), were examined and 28 parasite species were found, 15 of them being new host records. Both univariate and multivariate analyses identified discrete stocks in each zone. The observed differences were not related to the host size or sex. Each locality was characterized by its own indicator species. Villa Gesell was typified by unidentified cestode plerocercoids, Corynosoma cetaceum and Hysterothylacium sp., Miramar by Heterosentis sp. and Pseudoterranova sp. and Península Valdes by A. simplex s.l. Fishes from both northern localities shared gnathiid pranizae, Corynosoma australe and Grillotia sp. as indicators, whereas Miramar and Península Valdes shared only Trifur tortuosus. The most distant localities showed no indicator species in common. Discriminant analyses of parasite assemblages agreed with populational comparisons in identifying the same set of biological tags, whereas some differences in the identity of indicator species were obtained by similarity analysis. However, the 3 approaches were congruent in identifying Grillotia sp., C. australe and C. cetaceum as indicators of northern localities, and A. simplex s.l. as related to Patagonian waters. Differences among zones could be enhanced by the sedentary habits, limited dispersal and high site fidelity of P. semifasciata, and their spawning in rocky outcrops, which are isolated environments.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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