: Very little information is reported for parasites of cnidarians, therefore, the present work aimed to investigate parasitic infections in one of the most widespread jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea, Rhizostoma pulmo. The goals were to determine prevalence and intensity of parasites in R. pulmo, identify the species involved through morphological and molecular analysis, test whether infection parameters differ in different body parts and in relation to jellyfish size. 58 individuals were collected, 100% of them infected with digenean metacercariae. Intensity varied between 18.7 ± 6.7 per individual in 0-2 cm diameter jellyfish up to 505 ± 50.6 in 14 cm ones. Morphological and molecular analyses suggest that the metacercariae belonged to the family Lepocreadiidae and could be possibly assigned to the genus Clavogalea. Prevalence values of 100% suggest that R. pulmo is an important intermediate host in the life cycle of lepocreadiids in the region. Our findings also support the hypothesis that R. pulmo is an important part in the diet of teleost fish, which are reported as definitive hosts of lepocreadiids, since trophic transmission is necessary for these parasites to complete their life cycles. Parasitological data may therefore be useful to investigate fish-jellyfish predation, integrating traditional methods such as gut contents analysis.

Parasitic infection in the scyphozoan Rhizostoma pulmo (Macri, 1778)

Motta, Gregorio;Avian, Massimo;Terlizzi, Antonio;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Very little information is reported for parasites of cnidarians, therefore, the present work aimed to investigate parasitic infections in one of the most widespread jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea, Rhizostoma pulmo. The goals were to determine prevalence and intensity of parasites in R. pulmo, identify the species involved through morphological and molecular analysis, test whether infection parameters differ in different body parts and in relation to jellyfish size. 58 individuals were collected, 100% of them infected with digenean metacercariae. Intensity varied between 18.7 ± 6.7 per individual in 0-2 cm diameter jellyfish up to 505 ± 50.6 in 14 cm ones. Morphological and molecular analyses suggest that the metacercariae belonged to the family Lepocreadiidae and could be possibly assigned to the genus Clavogalea. Prevalence values of 100% suggest that R. pulmo is an important intermediate host in the life cycle of lepocreadiids in the region. Our findings also support the hypothesis that R. pulmo is an important part in the diet of teleost fish, which are reported as definitive hosts of lepocreadiids, since trophic transmission is necessary for these parasites to complete their life cycles. Parasitological data may therefore be useful to investigate fish-jellyfish predation, integrating traditional methods such as gut contents analysis.
2023
5-apr-2023
Pubblicato
https://www.nature.com/search?q=Motta Gregorio&journal=srep&date_range=last_30_days&order=relevance
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3043378
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