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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2010 Nov;57(4):237-62.

An annotated list of parasites (Isopoda, Copepoda, Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda and Nematoda) collected in groupers (Serranidae, Epinephelinae) in New Caledonia emphasizes parasite biodiversity in coral reef fish.

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UMR 7138 Systématique, Adaptation, Evolution, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 57, rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France.


Abstract: Over a 7-year period, parasites have been collected from 28 species of groupers (Serranidae, Epinephelinae) in the waters off New Caledonia. Host-parasite and parasite-host lists are provided, with a total of 337 host-parasite combinations, including 146 parasite identifications at the species level. Results are included for isopods (5 species), copepods (19), monogeneans (56), digeneans (28), cestodes (12), and nematodes (12). When results are restricted to those 14 fish species for which more than five specimens were examined and to parasites identified at the species level, 109 host-parasite combinations were recorded, with 63 different species, of which monogeneans account for half (32 species), and an average of 4.5 parasite species per fish species. Digenean records were compared for 16 fish species shared with the study of Cribb et al. (2002); based on a total of 90 parasite records identified at the species level, New Caledonia has 17 new records and only seven species were already known from other locations. We hypothesize that the present results represent only a small part of the actual biodiversity, and we predict a biodiversity of 10 different parasite species and 30 host-parasite combinations per serranid. A comparison with a study on Heron Island (Queensland, Australia) by Lester and Sewell (1989) was attempted: of the four species of fish in common and in a total of 91 host-parasite combinations, only six parasites identified at the species level were shared. This suggests strongly that insufficient sampling impairs proper biogeographical or ecological comparisons. Probably only 3% of the parasite species of coral reef fish are already known in New Caledonia.

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