Ectoparasitic crustaceans on mullet, Mugil curema (Osteichthyes: Mugilidae) in the coastal waters of Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v33i3.6796

Elizete Teresinha Santos Cavalcanti, Ricardo Massato Takemoto, Leucio Câmara Alves, Sathyabama Chellappa, Gilberto Cezar Pavanelli


White mullet is a commercial fish species abundant in the coastal waters of Brazil. This study investigated the occurrence of crustacean ectoparasites on white mullet, Mugil curema captured from the littoral waters of Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. From 2006 to 2007, 31 individuals of M. curema were captured and encountered ectoparasites were observed, identified and counted. M. curema was parasitized by ectoparasitic crustaceans, caligid copepods, Caligus bonito and Caligus sp.; ergasilid copepods, Ergasilus versicolor and E. lizae; and isopod Cymothoa spinipalpa. Of the caligids detected, 66.66% were C. bonito and 33.33% Caligus sp. C. bonito occurred on males of M. curema during the drought season and Caligus sp. occurred on females during the rainy season. The prevalence of both caligid species was 3.23%. Of the ergasilids detected, E. versicolor (91.67%) occurred during the drought and rainy seasons, whereas E. lizae (8.33%) occurred during the rainy season. Prevalence of E. versicolor was 35.48% and E. lizae was 3.23%. C. spinipalpa was detected during the drought and rainy seasons with a prevalence of 16.13%. The preferred site of fixation by the parasites was the branchial chambers.


marine fish; caligids; isopod; ecological indices of parasites

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ISSN 1679-9283 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-863X (on-line) e-mail:


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