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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 55, Issue 4


Critically endangered Pristis microdon (Elasmobranchii), as a host for the Indian parasitic copepod, Caligus furcisetifer Redkar, Rangnekar et Murti, 1949 (Siphonostomatoida): New records from northern Australia

David Morgan
  • Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit, Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University, South St Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia
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/ Danny Tang
  • Department of Zoology (M092), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Western Australia, 6009, Australia
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/ Stirling Peverell
  • Delivery Animal Science Sustainable Fisheries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Cairns, Queensland, 4811, Australia
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Published Online: 2010-10-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-010-0050-2


This paper presents the first records of the parasitic copepod Caligus furcisetifer Redkar, Rangnekar et Murti, 1949 beyond Indian waters, specifically, on the body surface and head of the critically endangered largetooth sawfish (commonly referred to as the freshwater sawfish in Australia), Pristis microdon Latham, 1794 (Elasmobranchii, Pristidae), in brackish tidal waters of the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Leichhardt River in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Queensland. This represents a geographic range extension of ∼8000 km for this parasite. Further, it is only the second member of the genus Caligus to be found on an elasmobranch host in Western Australia and it is the first time this species has been reported from the Southern Hemisphere. Male biased dispersal of P. microdon may be the vector in which the parasite has dispersed from India across to northern Australia, or vice versa. A decline in populations of the critically endangered P. microdon (and possibly other pristid species) in these regions may lead to a concomitant decline in their parasite fauna.

Keywords: Sea lice; Fitzroy River; Leichhardt River; northern Australia; India

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About the article

Published Online: 2010-10-23

Published in Print: 2010-12-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 55, Issue 4, Pages 419–423, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-010-0050-2.

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© 2010 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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