A Survey of parasites in fish at Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Authors:Afua Adjekum, Darryl Lopez, Tina Nguyen
Mentor:Diana Lieberman, Research Faculty, División of Science & Environmental Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, California State University Monterey Bay
Twenty fishes belonging to eleven species from nine families were surveyed for ectoparasites and internal parasites. Altogether >26 parasites were encountered comprising >21 nematodes, 3 trematodes, 1 acanthocephalan, and a single ectoparasitic isopod. Parasites were found in 35% of the 20 fish examined. Distribution of parasites among individuals was nonrandom, showing a clumped dispersion pattern. There was no association between the presence or absence of parasites and fish diet (fish, invertebrates, and zooplankton or algae), habitat (freshwater, intertidal, or deep water), or the presence of food in the gut. The largest fish in our samples were from deep water habitats. Parasite loads showed no simple relationship with fish weight.