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New Hosts, Prevalence, and Density of the Ellobiopsid Parasite Thalassomyces Fagei on Euphausiids in Prince William Sound, Alaska

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Abstract The euphausiids, Euphausia pacifica Hansen, 1911, Thysanoessa inermis (Kröyer, 1846), T. longipes Brandt, 1851, T. raschi (M. Sars, 1864), and T. spinifera Holmes, 1900, were found to be infested with the ellobiopsid Thalassomyces fagei (Boschma, 1949) in Prince William Sound (PWS), south-central Alaska. Thysanoessa longipes and T. spinifera are reported for the first time as hosts for the parasite Thalassomyces fagei. Plankton samples were collected in May, August, and October 1997, and in July 1998 from northern, central, and southern study areas in PWS. Density of ellobiopsids on all species of euphausiids in each study area ranged from 0 to 2.0·m−2, while density of adult-size euphausiids of all species ranged from 6.7 to 263.4·m−2. The prevalence of ellobiopsids on adult-size euphausiids ranged from 0 to 31.3% by species and from 0 to 7.5% by sampling area. In general, parasite density was highest where euphausiid density was lowest. Of the 20,760 adult-size euphausiids examined, 1.49% were infected with the ellobiopsid parasite T. fagei.

Affiliations: 1: a Juneau Center, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska 99801, U.S.A.


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