Frequency distributions of fish parasites in the perch Perca fluviatilis L. from Lake Constance

Abstract

Seventy perch (Perca fluviatilis) caught in Lake Constance at Langenargen in May 1990 were examined for parasites. The frequency distributions of the eyefluke Diplostomum spathaceum (Rudolphi, 1819), and the tapeworms Proteocephalus percae (Müller, 1780) and Triaenophorus nodulosus (Pallas, 1781) fitted closely to a negative binomial. Only a few fish were highly parasitized. These fishes are devoured by the final hosts: gulls (Diplostomum spathaceum) or the pike (Triaenophorus nodulosus). The fish population was influenced negligibly and the parasite population stayed at a moderate level. During the spawning period female perch were infested with Proteocephalus percae more than the males. This may be because the females had a higher food consumption and became more infected by copepods (intermediate hosts). In contrast, Diplostomum spathaceum, Ichthyocotylurus variegatus, Triaenophorus nodulosus, and Tylodelphys clavata did not occur in different numbers in female and male perches. The frequency distribution of Ichthyocotylurus variegatus (Creplin, 1825) and Tylodelphys clavata (Nordmann, 1832) did not conform to a negative binomial.

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