Thorny-headed worms

Morphometric discrimination of two allozymically diagnosed sibling species of the Echinorhynchus gadi Zoega in Muller complex (Acanthocephala) in the North Sea.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2005
Authors:M. T. Wayland, Gibson, D. I., Sommerville, C.
Journal:Systematic Parasitology
Pagination:139 - 149
Date Published:2005///
ISBN Number:01655752 (ISSN)
Keywords:Acanthocephala, Acanthocephalus, allele, Alleles, animal, animal parasitosis, Animals, article, Atlantic Ocean, body size, Body Weights and Measures, comparative study, enzyme, Enzymes, Female, fish disease, Fish Diseases, Gadiformes, genetics, Great Britain, Helminthiasis, Animal, host parasite interaction, Host-Parasite Relations, intestine, Intestines, isolation and purification, Male, morphometrics, North Sea, Parasitology, physiology, sea water, Seawater, species difference, Species Specificity, United Kingdom

Allozyme electrophoresis was used to detect biological species of the E. gadi complex from gadids from the northern North Sea. A fixed difference at one of nine enzyme loci surveyed confirmed the existence of two reproductively isolated, sympatric species. Mixed infections of two E. gadi spp. (termed A and B) were observed in Gadus morhua and Pollachius virens. E. gadi sp. B was also found in Melanogrammus aeglefinus and Merlangius merlangus. The presence of gravid females of E. gadi spp. A and B in the same host species, P. virens, and sometimes in the same host individual, indicates that neither differential host-specificity nor seasonal differences in mating time are responsible for their reproductive isolation. Morphological study of probosces from electrophoretically identified specimens demonstrated that the two species can be discriminated in graphical and cluster analyses of hook morphometrics. E. gadi sp. I (of Vainola etal., 1994) and E. gadi sp. A are probably conspecific.

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