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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 63, Issue 2


Patterns of the parasite communities in a fish assemblage of a river in the Brazilian Amazon region

Raimundo Rosemiro Jesus Baia
  • Embrapa Amapá, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil
  • Postgraduate Program on Tropical Biodiversity, Federal University of Amapá, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Alexandro Cezar Florentino
  • Postgraduate Program on Tropical Biodiversity, Federal University of Amapá, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luís Maurício Abdon Silva
  • Institute of Scientific and Technological Research of the State of Amapá (IEPA), Macapá, Amapá, Brazil
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Marcos Tavares-Dias
Published Online: 2018-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2018-0035


This paper characterizes the pattern of ectoparasite and endoparasite communities in an assemblage of 35 sympatric fish from different trophic levels in a tributary from the Amazon River system, northern Brazil. In detritivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous and piscivorous hosts, the species richness consisted of 82 ectoparasites and endoparasites, but protozoan ectoparasites such as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Piscinoodinium pillulare and Tripartiella sp. were dominant species predominated, such that they were present in 80% of the hosts. The taxon richness was in the following order: Monogenea > Nematoda > Digenea > Crustacea > Protozoa > Acanthocephala = Cestoda > Hirudinea. Among the hosts, the highest number of parasitic associations occurred in Satanoperca jurupari, Aequidens tetramerus, Hoplerythrinus unitaeniatus, Hoplosternum littorale, Cichlasoma amazonarum, Chaetobranchus flavescens, Squaliforma emarginata, Chaetobranchopsis orbicularis and Hoplias malabaricus. A weak positive correlation between ectoparasite abundance and length of the hosts was observed. Ectoparasite communities of detritivorous, carnivorous and omnivorous hosts were similar, but these differed from the communities of piscivorous hosts. Larval endoparasite species with low host specificity were the main determinants of the parasite infracommunity structure of the fish assemblage. Fish assemblage had few species of helminth that were specialist endoparasites, while many were parasites at the larval stage, infecting intermediate and paratenic hosts. Finally, carnivorous and omnivorous hosts harbored endoparasite communities that were more heterogeneous than those of detritivorous and piscivorous hosts. This result lends supports to the notion that the feeding habits of the host species are a significant factor in determining the endoparasites fauna.

Keywords: Amazon; Brazil; trophic level; parasites


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About the article

Received: 2017-11-13

Revised: 2018-01-18

Accepted: 2018-01-19

Published Online: 2018-04-13

Published in Print: 2018-06-26

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 63, Issue 2, Pages 304–316, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2018-0035.

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