Gill parasites of fish from two estuaries in northeastern Brazil: new hosts and geographical records
ABSTRACT Parasites are important components of communities and constitute great part of the biological diversity found in ecosystems, providing valuable information about their hosts and the environment in which they live. However, despite its importance, parasitic diversity is still not well known in some regions of Brazil, especially with respect to fish parasites in the Northeast Region. The present study aims to perform the survey of gill parasites of fish from two tropical estuaries located in northeastern Brazil: Paraíba and Mamanguape rivers. Two collections were made in each estuary, one during the dry period (November / 2013) and the other during the rainy season (July / 2014). The fish were caught using a beach seine net, dragged along the main channel margin. After the identification, biometry and necropsy of the fish, their parasites were collected, stored and identified. For each species of parasite, the values of prevalence, mean intensity and mean abundance were calculated. Of the 882 examined fish, belonging to four species, 145 were parasitized by at least one species of parasite. In total, 18 taxa of parasites of the groups Monogenea, Digenea, Nematoda, Copepoda and Isopoda were recorded, being the copepod Acusicola brasiliensis the most abundant species of parasite.