Occurrence of Heteropriapulus heterotylus (Monogenoidea: Dactylogyridae), ectoparasite of two invasive sailfin catfishes (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Southeastern Mexico.
The present study reports the presence of the dactylogyrid parasite Heteropriapulus heterotylus on the gills of the invasive Amazon sailfin catfishes Pterygoplichthys pardalis and P. disjunctivus from freshwater ecosystems in Southeastern Mexico. This represents a new host record for this parasite and a new geographical record of parasites for P. disjunctivus and P. pardalis. Furthermore, the ecological aspects of the prevalence, mean abundance and mean intensity of H. heterotylus were examined throughout an annual cycle. A total of 223 fish were collected, including 94 of P. disjunctivus and 129 of P. pardalis. A total of 148 (66.3%) fish were found to be infected with this dactylogyrid, 79 of P. pardalis and 69 of P. disjunctivus. H. heterotylus was found exclusively in the gill arches in both hosts. In both fish, the mean abundance of this parasite showed significant changes during the year. Likewise, prevalence and mean intensity showed similar values in both hosts. The present study demonstrates that parasitological studies in nonnative fish can be helpful in designing control strategies for the importation of non-native fish and should be regarded as necessary before encouraging fish consumption as a control strategy in regions where these invasive fish proliferate excessively.