Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 21, Number 4, October-December 2008
|Page(s)||365 - 371|
|Published online||23 October 2008|
Looking for skin and gill parasites as biological tags for Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Santander, Apdo. 240, 39080 Santander, Spain
2 Departamento de Biologia Animal, Biología Vegetal y de Ecología, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
3 Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Departamento de Zoología, Universidad de Valencia, c/ Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 10 July 2008
Skin and gill parasites found in juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) caught in the Bay of Biscay, northeast Atlantic, were examined with the aim of finding biological tags. The degree of infection of different microhabitats was analyzed and the annual prevalence by species of parasite obtained. Of the specimens examined, 98% had parasites, and the gills were by far the most infected microhabitat, followed by the skin and the pectoral fin. Within the gill cavity, parasites were most commonly found in the afferent margins of the primary lamellae. Three species of Copepoda were identified, two species of Monogenea, and eleven Digenea. Thus, ten species (Digenea: Didymozoidae) and a new host record for Copiatestes thyrsitae (Digenea: Syncoeliidae) were recorded in Thunnus thynnus. The suitability of the different external parasites found is discussed and gill didymozoids are put forward as useful biological tags. Confusing taxonomy within this digenean family makes species identification of the different morphotypes difficult. However, their habitat specificity in hosts can be a good tool to differentiate morphotypes and characterise host individuals.
Key words: Atlantic bluefin tuna / Skin and gill parasites / Stock structure / Biological tags / Didymozoidae
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2008
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