Sures, Bernd; Knopf, K.; Würtz, J.; Hirt, J.:

Richness and diversity of parasite communities in European eels Anguilla anguilla of the River Rhine, Germany, with special reference to helminth parasites.

In: Parasitology, Jg. 119 (1999) ; Nr. 3, S. 323-330
ISSN: 0031-1820
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Biologie
A total of 121 European eels (Anguilla anguilla) from 2 sampling sites on the River Rhine were investigated in respect of
their parasite communities. Special attention was given to the swim bladders, intestines, gills and ®ns of the ®sh. Twelve
different parasite species were found to live in and on the eels. Data from each sampling site were kept separate. Parasites
found in descending order of prevalence were: Anguillicola crassus, Trypanosoma granulosum, Myxobolus sp., Paratenuisentis
ambiguus, Pseudodactylogyrus sp., Bothriocephalus claviceps, Myxidium giardi, Pomphorhynchus laevis, Trichodina
sp., Raphidascaris acus, Acanthocephalus lucii and Acanthocephalus anguillae. Signi®cantly different prevalences were
reported for L$ larvae of A. crassus, adult P. ambiguus, B. claviceps and Myxobolus sp. at the 2 sampling sites. The highest
number of parasite species was recorded from the intestine, which contained up to 6 different helminths. The coexistence
of the acanthocephalans P. laevis and P. ambiguus, which showed clear patterns of distribution within the intestine of the
respective hosts, was reported for the ®rst time. Up to 3 different helminth species were found in the intestine of individual
®sh. Among those, acanthocephalans were the most prevalent worms with the eel-speci®c parasite P. ambiguus as the
dominant species not only of the intestinal but also of the total component communities. Both infra and component
communities exhibited low diversity and were dominated by this single species. The evenness reached only approximately
50% or less and it remained unclear why the helminth communities of the eels from the River Rhine with its huge
catchment area exhibit such a low parasite diversity and high dominance.

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