Parasite fauna of the Antarctic dragonfish Parachaenichthys charcoti (Perciformes: Bathydraconidae) and closely related Bathydraconidae from the Antarctic Peninsula, Southern Ocean

  • Background: As members of the Notothenioidei - the dominant fish taxon in Antarctic waters - the family Bathydraconidae includes 12 genera and 17 species. The knowledge of these species inhabiting an isolated environment is rather fragmentary, including their parasite fauna. Studies on fish hosts and their associated parasites can help gain insights into even remote ecosystems and be used to infer ecological roles in food webs; however, ecological studies on the Bathydraconidae are scarce. Results: In this study, stomach contents and parasite fauna of the Antarctic dragonfish species Parachaenichthys charcoti (n = 47 specimens) as well as of Gerlachea australis (n = 5), Gymnodraco acuticeps (n = 9) and Racovitzia glacialis (n = 6) were examined. The parasite fauna of P. charcoti consisted of eight genera represented by 11 species, with three of them being new host records. Overall, 24 parasite genera and 26 species were found in the sampled fish, including eleven new host records. Conclusion: Analyses revealed that the majority of the parasite species found in the different fish hosts are endemic to Antarctic waters and are characterized by a broad host range. These findings are evidence for the current lack of knowledge and the need for further parasitological studies of fish species in this unique habitat.
Author:Julian Münster, Judith KochmannORCiD, Juline Grigat, Sven KlimpelORCiDGND, Thomas KuhnGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Parasites & vectors
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/05/12
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/04
Tag:Antarctica; Bathydraconinae; Feeding behavior; Gerlachea australis; Gymnodraco acuticeps; Host specificity; Parachaenichthys charcoti; Parasites; Racovitzia glacialis
Issue:1, Art. 235
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0