The usefulness of fish parasite communities as bioindicators of environmental stress was tested on two benthic fish species, the red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and the spotted flounder (Citharus linguatula), during the spring of 2006 at two sites of the Catalan coast (northwestern Mediterranean): an anthropogenic-impacted area located close to the city of Barcelona, and a less polluted area close to Blanes (Girona). Gonadosomatic and hepatosomatic indices and condition factor were determined for the fishes caught. Prevalence, mean intensity, mean abundance and species richness of the parasites found in the survey were calculated for both species and locations, and the main histological alterations were recorded. Cysts of unknown aetiology and intestinal coccidians were reported only in red mullets from the area close to Barcelona, which were highly parasitized by the digenean Opecoeloides furcatus and the nematode Capillaria sp. However, a higher prevalence of Ichthyophonus sp. was reported in the spotted flounder from Blanes. Cysts of unknown aetiology, some nematodes and Ichthyophonus sp. may be associated with pollution.
- Citharus linguatula
- Cysts of unknown etiology (CUEs)
- Ichthyophonus sp
- Mullus barbatus