Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 987–990 | Cite as

The marine leech Branchellion torpedinis parasitic on the angelshark Squatina squatina and the marbled electric ray Torpedo marmorata

Short Communication

Abstract

The marine leech Branchellion torpedinis is parasitic on teleost and elasmobranch species. Reports along its wide distribution range include the Carribean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the west and east coasts of the North Atlantic Ocean. Most of these records are isolated cases and limited just to the mention of the relationship. In this sense, the present communication is a novel report and a reliable, long-term, host–parasite record for the marine leech B. torpedinis based on observations in its natural habitat, and an expansion of the known distribution of this helminth to include the Canary Islands. The leech was observed attached to the dorsum of the angelshark Squatina squatina and of the marbled electric ray Torpedo marmorata during a scuba diving census. No noteworthy aspects were registered in the attachment area, the behavior or apparent fitness of the hosts. These findings are important because it provides useful information about the dispersal patterns of a rare marine leech and its relationship with the hosts, and gives the first insights into a parasite for T. marmorata in the Canary Islands.

Keywords

Piscicolidae Helminth Parasite–host relationship Wildlife Elasmobranch Canary Islands 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This study was partially supported by the Shark Foundation and the Loro Parque Fundación.

Compliance with ethical standards

With the authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and with knowledge from the Canarian Government.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

Online Resource 1

Video in situ of an angelshark Squatina squatina, buried in the sand, with attachment of the marine leech Branchellion torpedinis on the dorsal side. Branchellion torpedinis moving with the current with expanded branchia, attached with the caudal sucker (WMV 1286 kb)

References

  1. Başusta N, De Meo I, Miglietta C, Mutlu E, Olguner MT, Şahin A, Balaban C, Deval MC, Yurtseven UU, Patania A (2015) Some marine leeches and first record of Branchellion torpedinis Savigny, 1822 (Annelida, Hirudinea, Piscicolidae) from elasmobranchs in Turkish waters, with new host records. Mar Biodivers 1–4. doi:10.1007/s12526-015-0411-z
  2. Harding WA (1910) A revision of the British leeches. Parasitology 3:130–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kearn G (2004) Leeches, lice and lampreys: a natural history of skin and gill parasites of fishes. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  4. Lo Bianco S (1909) Notizie biologiche riguardanti specialmente il periodo di maturità sessuale degli animali del Golfo di Napoli. Mitt Zool Stn Neapel 19:513–761Google Scholar
  5. Mann KH (1962) Leeches (Hirudinea): their structure, physiology, ecology and embryology. Pergamon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Marancik DP, Dove AD, Camus AC (2012) Experimental infection of yellow stingrays Urobatis jamaicensis with the marine leech Branchellion torpedinis. Dis Aquat Org 101:51–60CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Narváez K, Osaer F (2016) The marine leech Stibarobdella macrothela parasitic on the angel shark Squatina squatina. Mar Biodivers 1–2. doi:10.1007/s12526-016-0444-y
  8. Osaer F, Narváez K (2016) The angel shark Squatina squatina prey of the isopod Aegapheles deshaysiana. Mar Biodivers 46:29–30Google Scholar
  9. Osaer F, Narváez K, Pajuelo JG, Lorenzo JM (2015) Sexual development and maturity scale for the angel shark Squatina squatina (Elasmobranchii: Squatinidae), with comments on the adequacy of general maturity scales. Sex Early Dev Aquat Org 1:117–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pauls SM, Provenzano F (1999) Branchellion torpedinis Savigny, 1822 (Hirudinea: Piscicolidae), primera cita de una sanguijuela marina para Venezuela. Acta Biol Venez 19:73–76Google Scholar
  11. Pearse AS (1947) On the occurrence of ectoconsortes on marine animals at Beaufort, NC. J Parasitol 33:453–458CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Sawyer RT, Lawler AR, Oversrteet RM (1975) Marine leeches of the eastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico with a key to the species. J Nat Hist 9:633–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Williams EH, Bunkley-Williams L, Burreson EM (1994) Some new records of marine and freshwater leeches from Caribbean, southeastern USA, eastern Pacific, and Okinawan animals. J Helminthol Soc Wash 61:133–138Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ElasmoCan, Asociación Canaria para la Investigación y Conservación de los ElasmobranquiosLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  2. 2.Fundación Colombiana para la Investigación y Conservación de Tiburones y Rayas, SQUALUSCaliColombia

Personalised recommendations