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Phenotypic plasticity of taxonomic and diagnostic structures in gyrodactylosis-causing flatworms (Monogenea, Platyhelminthes)

  • K. OLSTAD (a1), L. BACHMANN (a1) and T. A. BAKKE (a1)


The present study addresses the effect of varying temperature and host species on the size and shape of the opisthaptoral hard-parts in isogenic strains of Gyrodactylus salaris and G. thymalli. Variation in shape was examined using geometric morphometrics. Since the opisthaptoral hard-parts of Gyrodactylus have few specific landmarks, their shape information mostly being represented by outlines and surfaces, a method based on sliding semi-landmarks was applied. The ventral bars of G. salaris did not follow the previously postulated negative correlation between size and temperature, and the largest hamuli and marginal hooks from G. salaris and the smallest from G. thymalli clearly overlapped in size. Consistent shape differences with temperature were detected for the hard-parts from G. thymalli but not from G. salaris. The hard-parts of G. salaris were similar in size but significantly different in shape when grown on secondary hosts rather than the primary host.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Present address: National Veterinary Institute, Section for Parasitology, Pb 750 Sentrum NO-0106 Oslo, Norway. Tel: +47 23 21 61 56. Fax: +47 23 21 61 01. E-mail:


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