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What can metazoan parasites reveal about the taxonomy of Scomber japonicus Houttuyn in the coast of South America and Madeira Islands?

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The metazoan parasites of four populations of the chub mackerel Scomber japonicus were analysed from two localities in the Atlantic Ocean (Madeira Islands, Portugal, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and two localities in the Pacific Ocean (Callao, Peru, and Antofagasta, Chile), collected during 2002 and 2003. A total of 373 fish specimens were studied and 34 metazoan parasite species were obtained. Parasites identified from the populations of chub mackerel studied could be separated into three categories: parasites with a wide distribution, present in the Pacific and Atlantic, parasites proper of the Pacific Ocean and parasites proper of the Atlantic Ocean. The analyses of some highly specific parasites of the genus Scomber (i.e. monogeneans of the genus Kuhnia and didymozoid digeneans) strongly suggest the need for a revision of the taxonomic status of chub mackerels from the Atlantic and Pacific coast of America. The results demonstrated the usefulness of parasites as adequate tools to clarify the taxonomic status of their hosts.

Keywords: Atlantic Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Scomber japonicus; biogeography; metazoan parasites

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Universidade da Madeira, Centro de Estudos da Macaronésia, Campus da Penteada, 9000-390 Funchal, Portugal 2: Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Apartado 14-0434, Lima 14, Peru 3: Departamento de Parasitologia Animal, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Caixa Postal 74.508, CEP 23851-970, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil

Publication date: February 1, 2008


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