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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 17, 2018

Metazoan parasite fauna of migrating common garfish, Belone belone (L.), in the Baltic Sea

Patrick Unger, Kilian Neubert and Harry W. Palm
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


A total of 35 common garfish, Belone belone (Linnaeus, 1761), were studied for metazoan parasites on their spawning grounds in the western Baltic Sea. Nine parasite species were found, and six new locality records could be established for German coastal waters (Axine belones, Monogenea; Proteocephalus sp., Cestoda; Anisakis simplex (s.s.), Contracaecum rudolphii A and Hysterothylacium aduncum, Nematoda; Echinorhynchus gadi, Acanthocephala). For the first time, the marine ectoparasite A. belones was recorded from the gills of garfish inside the Baltic Sea, indicating its ability to survive the spawning migration as well as the brackish water conditions at its reproduction grounds. This is alike the endohelminth A. simplex (s.s.), that was identified by molecular analyses of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1, 5.8S, ITS-2) region. Almost all isolated metazoans were parasites commonly recorded from the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The lower number of typical generalist Baltic Sea parasites indicates the rapid migration of common garfish onto the spawning grounds, reducing the access and uptake of these species.


We want to thank Juliane Dabels and Stefan Theisen (Aquaculture and Sea-Ranching, University of Rostock, Germany) for providing their help with the molecular analyses of anisakid nematodes. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for helping to improve the manuscript.


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Received: 2017-3-2
Revised: 2017-6-9
Accepted: 2017-7-21
Published Online: 2018-1-17
Published in Print: 2018-3-26

© 2018 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS