Folia Parasitologica, vol. 62 (2015)

Folia Parasitologica 62:004 (2015) | 10.14411/fp.2015.004

Developmental stages and fecundity of Lepeophtheirus simplex (Copepoda: Caligidae) parasitic on bullseye puffer fish (Sphoeroides annulatus)

Francisco Neptalí Morales-Serna1, Ana Inés Rivas-Salas1, Samuel Gómez2, Emma Josefina Fajer-Ávila1
1 Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Unidad Mazatlán en Acuicultura y Manejo Ambiental, Sinaloa, México;
2 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Unidad Académica Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México

Lepeophtheirus simplex Ho, Gómez et Fajer-Avila, 2001 is a parasite of Sphoeroides annulatus (Jenyns), an economically important fish species, with potential for aquaculture, in northwestern Mexico. The goal of this study was to describe the developmental stages under experimental conditions and seasonal fecundity of this parasite on wild fish. There are two naupliar, one copepodid, two chalimus and two pre-adult stages preceding the adult of L. simplex. The results support previous findings, which point out that the life cycle of the caligid copepods includes only six post-naupliar stages. The generation time from egg extrusion to adult for L. simplex was approximately 10 days at 22 °C. The body length of the ovigerous females ranged between 2.2 and 4.1 mm, and its fecundity between 12 and 36 eggs per string. Fecundity was negatively correlated with the egg size and positively correlated with the egg string length. Our data did not reveal significant differences in fecundity among sampling months, but ovigerous females were significantly larger in March (when water temperature was 22 °C) than in June and July (when water temperature was 30 °C). To some extent, our fecundity results contrast with those found in species of sea lice from higher latitudes. Undoubtedly, biological information on different species of sea lice from different environmental conditions will enhance our understanding of their infection strategies and will be valuable, given the increasing interest in marine fish farming in Mexico.

Keywords: Siphonostomatoida, life cycle, sea louse, crustacean, Mexican Pacific, Tetraodontidae

Received: May 21, 2014; Accepted: July 25, 2014; Prepublished online: December 3, 2014; Published online: January 1, 2015


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