Parasite communities of eels Anguilla anguilla in freshwater and marine habitats in Iceland in comparison with other parasite communities of eels in Europe
Ninety-five eels from one marine and three freshwater localities in Iceland were examined for parasites. Twenty species were found, 12 from marine habitat, 12 from freshwater and 4 species were found in both habitats. These are: Eimeria anguillae, Chilodonella hexasticha, Trichodina fultoni, T. jadranica, Myxidium giardi, Myxobolus kotlani, two Zschokkella spp., Derogenes varicus, Deropristis inflata, Diplostomum sp., Plagioporus angulatus, Podocotyle atomon, Anisakis simplex (larva),
... (larva), Eustrongylides sp. (larva), Hysterothylacium aduncum (larva), Raphidascaris acus (larval and adult stages), Bothriocephalus claviceps, Proteocephalus macrocephalus, and a pseudophyllidean larva. Thirteen of these species are new parasite records from Icelandic waters. The component community of marine eels was characterized by low diversity and a high dominance of a single species. Overall, seven species of helminths were observed, up to five different species occurring in an individual fish. The component community of the freshwater eels was species-poor with low diversity and relatively high dominance of single species. A between-sites difference in the freshwater eels was considerable; only Diplostomum sp. was found at more then one sampling site. Similar to previous studies, there is a total replacement of freshwater macroparasite species by marine ones in saline waters. But unlike research abroad in which species richness decreases with higher salinity, the marine eels in Iceland have considerably higher richness than the freshwater ones. The parasite communities of freshwater eels in Iceland are, in general species-poorer, less diverse and having higher Berger Parker (BP) dominance than other eel communities in Europe. Marine eels have on the other hand comparable species richness, are less diverse and with a high BP dominance.