Russian Journal of Marine Biology

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 148–155 | Cite as

The lifecycle of Dichelyne minutus (Rudolphi, 1819) (Nematoda: Cucullanidae) in the estuarine biocenosis of the Black Sea

  • N. V. Pronkina
  • E. V. Dmitrieva
  • T. A. Polyakova
  • M. P. Popyuk


The lifecycle, the host–parasite system, and the ecological features of the nematode Dichelyne minutus (Rudolphi, 1819), which parasitizes invertebrates and fish in the estuarine biocenosis located at the influx of the Chornaya River into the Black Sea (off Sevastopol), have been studied. The host–parasite system of D. minutus includes the polychaete Hediste diversicolor Müller, 1776 (as an obligatory intermediate host) and nine fish species, of which seven are definitive hosts and two are accidental or captive hosts. It has been found that the lifecycle of D. minutus in the biocoenosis of the Black Sea differs from the lifecycle of this nematode that inhabits the Baltic and North seas. In the studied biocoenosis, nematode larvae occur in polychaetes and fish only in the spring and summer; no larvae are found in the autumn (the study was not conducted in the winter). The nematode parasitizes the polychaete H. diversicolor in the spring; the main source of infection in this period is obviously nematode eggs that were laid in the autumn and have overwintered in the environment. The infection process ends by early summer. The seasonal and size–age dynamics of nematode infection of the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814), are analyzed taking the specifics of fish biology into account. The short period of infection, as characterized by the active emission of nematode larvae, their low survival in polychaetes and fish, a short lifecycle and the mortality of mature nematodes after egg-laying in the autumn result in an over-scattered distribution (mostly of the negative-binomial type) of D. minutus in populations of all the hosts.


nematode Dichelyne minutus lifecycle host–parasite system estuarine biocenosis Black Sea 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. V. Pronkina
    • 1
  • E. V. Dmitrieva
    • 1
  • T. A. Polyakova
    • 1
  • M. P. Popyuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological ResearchRussian Academy of SciencesSevastopolRussia

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