, Volume 105, Issue 1, pp 201-208
Date: 14 Mar 2009

The interaction between an introduced fish host and local parasite fauna: Neogobius kessleri in the middle Danube River

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Parasite communities of introduced fish Neogobius kessleri Günther (Gobiidae) were studied at five localities in the Slovak section of the Danube River during 2002–2005. Thirty-three metazoan parasite species were identified. All fish were infected with at least two parasite species; most of the parasite species were generalists. At all sampling sites, high susceptibility to local parasites was observed. The parasite community was dominated by three parasite species: glochidia of Anodonta anatina, larval or subadult acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis, and larval nematode Raphidascaris acus. The infection of both A. anatina and P. laevis was affected by season and habitat type, with higher abundance in spring and more frequent occurrence of A. anatina in side channels and P. laevis in main river channels. At both the component and infracommunity levels, a more diverse parasite community was found in side channels. This habitat was dominated by actively transmitted parasites, whilst endoparasites were more abundant in fish from the main river channel. Larval stages of parasites dominated the endoparasite community at all sampling sites. The introduced N. kessleri was used as intermediate host for most of the recorded parasites, in some cases also as a paratenic host. Finally, the importance of gobies as suitable hosts for local non-native parasite species (Anguillicoloides crassus, Anodonta woodina, Hydrozetes lacustris) is discussed.