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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

IBANEZ, CHRISTIAN M.; PARDO-GANDARILLAS, M. CECILIA  and  GEORGE-NASCIMENTO, MARIO. Microhabitat use by the protozoan parasite Aggregata patagonica Sardella, Ré & Timi, 2000 (Apicomplexa: Aggregatidae) in his definitive host Enteroctopus megalocyathus (Gould, 1852) (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) in southern Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2005, vol.78, n.3, pp.441-450. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2005000300007.

The protozoan parasites of the family Aggregatidae, require two hosts to complete their life cycle, a crustacean and a cephalopod. This research looks for evidence of differential microhabitat use of Aggregata patagonica infrapopulations between two zones of the digestive tract of his definitive host, the octopus Enteroctopus megalocyathus. Forty specimens from Ancud and 37 from Quellón coming from artisanal catch from Chiloé Island in southern Chile were examined. The size and density of the oocysts were quantified in the caecum and intestine of the host. Histological preparations were carried out to determine quantitatively the occurrence of the different development stages of the parasite. In Ancud, 80 % of octopuses were parasited in the caecum and intestine, while in Quellón 100 % had oocyst. Four development stages (microgametes, zygotes, immature and mature sporocysts) were recognized. The oocysts of Aggregata patagonica were smaller and more abundant in the caecum, but their coverage was higher in the intestine. Moreover, density and coverage increased in few months between samples. Apparently, Aggregata patagonica does not use the two microhabitats as preferential places to pass the different developmental stages, but rather, and according to the conditions of the microhabitat, the oocysts would grow more in the intestine albeit in small number, occupying a higher surface of the microhabitat, contrary to what happens in the caecum. This suggests that A. patagonica may have two distinct life history strategies

Keywords : microhabitat; Aggregata patagonica; Enteroctopus megalocyathus; oocysts.

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