Lates perches and their parasite fauna in Lake Tanganyika.
|Year of publication||2019|
|Type||Appeared in Conference without Proceedings|
|MU Faculty or unit|
|Description||Lake Tanganyika is considered as a biodiversity hotspot with exceptional species richness and level of endemism. Given the global importance of the lake in the field of evolutionary biology, the understudied status of its parasitological fauna is surprising. Currently, a total of 51 species of parasitic flatworms were described in Lake Tanganyika (see overview in Kuchta et al., 2018). Although the most famous group within the lake’s fish fauna are cichlids, the pelagic zone is occupied mainly by endemic species of sardines and lates perches. The integrated approach revealed the presence of a single monogenean parasite (Monogenea, Diplectanidae) being surpassed by six species of digeneans (Digenea, Cryptogonomidae). Could be explained by Three out of four reported parasitic genera are new to science. Our study provides the first assessment of the fish trematode diversity in Lake Tanganyika and it will serve as a baseline for future explorations on the lake’s digenean diversity. High level of intraspecific variation was not clearly correlated with host species identity in any of parasites species recovered. Reported decrease of parasites’ host-specificity is believed to be correlated with sympatric occurrence of host species as well as small population densities of latid predators in an open water realm. Unlike digeneans being part of exclusively freshwater clade, evolutionary position of monogenean parasite corresponds with the marine origin of host family given the sister relationship with species infecting Asian lineage of lates perches. Further, our study highlights the importance of multiple scope in studies to reveal the diversification processes involved in the host-parasite system.|