, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Can host body size explain the parasite species richness in tropical freshwater fishes?

  • Jean-François Guégan
  • Alain Lambert
  • Christian Lévêque
  • Claude Combes
  • Louis Euzet
Original Papers


The variability of monogenean gill ectoparasite species richness in 19 West African cyprinid species was analyzed using the following seven predictor variables: host size, number of drainage basins, number of sympatric cyprinid species, host diversity, association with mainland forest, host ecology, and monogenean biological labelling. The size of the host species accounted for 77% of the variation in the number of parasite species per host, and host ecology an additional 8%. Together the effects of host size and host ecology accounted for 85% of the variation in monogenean species richness. This study shows that the deciding factors for explaining monogenean species richness in West African cyprinid fishes are host species size and host ecology. These results were compared with main factors responsible for parasite species richness in fish communities. Other possible explanations of monogenean community structure in west African cyprinids are discussed.

Key words

Species richness Parasite communities Freshwater fish Body size West Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-François Guégan
    • 1
  • Alain Lambert
    • 2
  • Christian Lévêque
    • 1
  • Claude Combes
    • 3
  • Louis Euzet
    • 2
  1. 1.Antenne ORSTOM, Laboratoire d'Ichtyologie générale et appliquéeMuséum national d'Histoire naturelleParis 105France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Parasitologie Comparée, U.R.A. C.N.R.S. 698, case 105Université des Sciences et Techniques du LanguedocMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Biologie Animale, U.R.A. C.N.R.S. 698, Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie tropicale et méditerranéenneUniversité de PerpignanPerpignanFrance

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