Community ecology of parasites in four species of Corydoras (Callichthyidae), ornamental fish endemic to the eastern Amazon (Brazil)

Abstract Abstract: This study compared the parasites community in Corydoras ephippifer, Corydoras melanistius, Corydoras amapaensis and Corydoras spilurus from tributaries from the Amapari River in State of Amapá (Brazil). A total of 151 fish of these four ornamental species were examined, of which 66.2% were parasitized by one or more species, and a total of 732 parasites were collected. Corydoras ephippifer (91.2%) and C. spilurus (98.8%) were the most parasitized hosts, while C. amapaensis (9.6%) was the least parasitized. A high similarity (≅ 75%) of parasite communities was found in the host species. Hosts were parasitized by Procamallanus (Spirocamallanus) inopinatus, Camallanus sp. and metacercariae of digeneans. The parasites had an aggregated dispersion pattern, but in C. ephippifer a random dispersion of P. (S.) inopinatus was found. The parasite community was characterized by a low species richness (1-4 parasites per host), low diversity and low evenness, and consisted mainly of endoparasites with high prevalence and low abundance. An important component in the determination of the helminth parasite community composition was the dominance of species that use these fish species as secondary intermediate or paratenic hosts. This was the first study on the parasite community for these four hosts. A checklist of parasite species in wild populations of Corydoras spp. from different localities was also reported here.