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Variability of the opisthaptoral hard parts of Gyrodactylus callariatis Malmberg, 1957 from Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L in the Oslo Fjord, Norway



Variability of the opisthaptoral hard parts of Gyrodactylus callariatis Malmberg, 1957 from Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L in the Oslo Fjord, Norway



Systematic Parasitology 33(3): 207



The present study describes the variability of the opisthaptoral hard parts of Gyrodactylus callariatis Malmberg, 1957 infesting juvenile Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L. in the Oslo Fjord, Norway. Samples were taken monthly or bimonthly from January 1993 to July 1994. The length of the 14 characters measured varied considerably throughout the period, and showed a significant regression on the water temperature: as the water temperature increased the length of the hard parts decreased and vice versa. There were no significant differences in the size of the hard parts between young worms (without penis) and older worms (with penis). Some of the characters (especially the anchor shaft) from parasites located on the skin and fins were significantly longer than those of parasites located in the oral cavity, pharynx and gills. Generally, the variation in the shape of the hard parts was small; the anchor root, ventral bar membrane and ventral bar processes were the most variable parts. The shape of the hard parts did not vary as a consequence of seasonal changes in the water temperature, age of the worms or site on the host.

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