Parasitology Research

, Volume 102, Issue 5, pp 1001–1011 | Cite as

Parasite assemblages of European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), composition and effects of habitat type and host body size

  • Martina DávidováEmail author
  • Markéta Ondračková
  • Pavel Jurajda
  • Milan Gelnar
Original Paper


Parasite community composition of European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), the only bitterling species occurring on the European continent, was investigated in 16 different localities from four European sea drainages during 1998–2007. A total of 41 species of metazoan parasites was identified. Nine parasite species are new records for European bitterling, namely Dactylogyrus rarissimus, D. suecicus, D. yinwenyingae, Gyrodactylus vimbi, Sphaerostomum globiporum, Petasiger sp., Paryphostomum radiatum, Ichthyocotylurus variegatus and Posthodiplostomum brevicaudatum. The specialist Gyrodactylus rhodei was the most widely distributed and one of the most prevalent species. The most frequent digenean species, represented by larval stages, was Metorchis xanthosomus. The parasite community of European bitterling was characterised by the dominance of generalists and parasites with autogenic life cycles. The rare occurrence of strictly endoparasitic species reflected the specific diet of the fish host. The character of the habitat significantly affected the parasite assemblages of bitterling. The greatest similarity was associated with lentic habitats (gravel pits and oxbows) and the lowest similarity between gravel pits and rivers. Juvenile bitterling from 8mm in length upwards were colonised by metazoan parasites, firstly by the monogenean G. rhodei. Host body size was positively correlated with parasite species richness, but the variability explained by length was low.


Parasite Community Metazoan Parasite Tubenose Goby Lentic Habitat Riverine Habitat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Jaroslav Černý (Institute of Zoology, SAS, Bratislava, Slovak Republic), Mirosław Przybylski (Department of Ecology and Vertebrate Zoology, University of Lodz, Poland), Milen Vassilev and Teodora Trichkova (Institute of Zoology, BAS, Sofia, Bulgaria), André Gilles (Department of Hydrobiology, University of Provence, Marseille, France), Martin Reichard (Institute of Vertebrate Biology, ASCR, Brno, Czech Republic) and angling clubs in the Czech Republic for field assistance and cooperation during this project. We would also like to thank Katka Houdková for her help with statistical analyses. We are very grateful to Graham Kearn for help with our English. The work was supported by the Research Project of the Masaryk University (no. 0021622416) and the Ichthyoparasitology Research Centre of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (LC 522). The Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (no. 524/07/1610).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martina Dávidová
    • 1
    Email author
  • Markéta Ondračková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pavel Jurajda
    • 2
  • Milan Gelnar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk University BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Vertebrate BiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic

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