Parasites of the deep-sea fish Mora moro (Risso, 1810) from the NW Mediterranean Sea and relationship with fish diet and enzymatic biomarkers

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Abstract

Specimens of Mora moro were collected in two seasons and three localities of the Balearic Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea) and parasitological, dietary (to prey-species level), enzymatic and histological data were obtained, alongside with environmental information (T, S, O2). The relationships among fish parasite load, condition indices, diet, enzymatic activity of muscular acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), intensity of splenic melano-macrophage centres (MMC) and hepatic granulomas were tested. M. moro showed a rich and abundant parasite fauna, and was a new host record for 17 out of the 18 different endoparasite taxa found. Significant differences were detected among locality-season groups, in turn related to different environmental variables, for Anisakidae gen. sp., Anisakis Type II and Tetraphyllidea fam. gen. sp.; thus, they are proposed as potentially useful as biological tags for geographical discrimination of M. moro in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Detailed relationships were found between parasite taxa and prey ingested (e.g. Anisakidae gen. sp. related with meso-bathypelagic crustaceans; Anisakis Type I with benthopelagic squids). Most parasites were linked to samples with highest levels of near-bottom O2, which is consistent with direct relationships found between near-bottom O2 and zooplankton biomass in the Balearic Basin. Total parasite abundance and the abundance of Tetraphyllidea fam. gen. sp. showed a significant relationship with the activity of AChE and the abundance of Anisakis Type II with LDH. AChE was associated with hepatosomatic index (HSI) and condition factor (K); LDH with gonadosomatic index (GSI), K and fish total length (TL). LDH activity showed differences among sampling groups. Splenic MMC and hepatic granulomas were not associated with fish parasite load. A positive relationship was found between MMC area and fish TL and LDH activity. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-126
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Volume92
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Deep-sea parasites
  • Diet
  • Environmental variables
  • Mora moro
  • NW Mediterranean

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