The occurrence of the tapeworm Ligula intestinalis (L.), in Barbus paludinosus from a small dam in Zimbabwe
Cestode parasites were collected from Barbus paludinosus from Munwahuku Dam near Harare, Zimbabwe over a period of 13 months. Plerocercoids of Ligula intestinalis were found in 7.2% of the fish. The majority of the infected fish carried one parasite, with 3.1% having two and 1.6% with three. There was a positive correlation (r = 0.59, P < 0.05) between the weight of L. intestinalis and that of their host, but there was no significant relationship between the condition factor of the fish and the weight of the parasite, and the parasite index was low (7.97 ± 3.38) compared to previous studies in South Africa. The gonads of all infected fish were atrophied. The prevalence of L. intestinalis in B. paludinosus was high between July and September 2000 and low thereafter. There was no clear seasonal variation in the occurrence of the parasite, although the lengthy dry season might have had an effect on the prevalence.
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