Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Cichlids: a host of opportunities for evolutionary parasitology.

Abstract

Thanks to high species diversity and a broad range of speciation mechanisms, cichlid fishes represent a textbook model in evolutionary biology. They are also of substantial economic value. Despite this importance, cichlid parasites remain understudied, although some are more diverse than their hosts. They may offer important insights into cichlid evolution and the evolution of host-parasite interactions. We review five major lines of research conducted on cichlid parasites so far: the study of parasite diversity and speciation; the role of parasites in cichlid diversification; the evolutionary ecology of host specificity; historical biogeography; and biological invasions. We call for more research in these areas and suggest approaches to valorise the potential that cichlid parasites hold for the study of evolutionary parasitology.