Ancyrocephalidae (Monogenea) of Lake Tanganyika: II: description of the first Cichlidogyrus spp. parasites from Tropheini fish hosts (Teleostei, Cichlidae).

Research paper by Céline C Gillardin, Maarten P M MP Vanhove, Antoine A Pariselle, Tine T Huyse, Filip A M FA Volckaert

Indexed on: 29 Jun '11Published on: 29 Jun '11Published in: Parasitology Research


Although Lake Tanganyika hosts the most diverse endemic cichlid fish assemblage, its monogenean parasite fauna has hardly been documented. The cichlid tribe Tropheini has generated great interest because of its systematic position within the Haplochromini s.l. and its diversity in trophic morphology, reproductive behaviour and population structure. It has the potential to host a diverse Monogenea fauna. Here, we describe the first Cichlidogyrus spp.: Cichlidogyrus steenbergei sp. n., Cichlidogyrus irenae sp. n. and Cichlidogyrus gistelincki sp. n. The three host species, Limnotilapia dardennii, Ctenochromis horei and Gnathochromis pfefferi, are all infected by a single unique Cichlidogyrus sp. The genital and haptoral structure of the new species suggests a close relationship, which might mirror the close affinities between the hosts within the Tropheini. Based on haptoral configuration, the new species belong to a morphological group within the genus containing parasites both of West African cichlids and of Haplochromini, and hence, do not represent a new organisation of the attachment organ (as has recently been described of congeners infecting the ectodine cichlid Ophthalmotilapia).

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