Larval nematodes in stomach wall granulomas of smelt Osmerus eperlanus from the German North Sea coast

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Obiekezie, A. I. ; Lick, Roland R. ; Kerstan, Susanne L. ; Möller, Heino (1992)
  • Publisher: Inter Research

Occurrence of stomach wall granulomas in European smelt was studled at 6 locations along the German North Sea coast. Identification of larval nematodes inhabiting these granulomas is provided for the first time. Three species, isolated by pepsin-HC1 digestion, are involved: Hysterothylacium cf. cornutum, Cosmocephalus obvelatus and Paracuaria tridentata. 72% of all stomachs examined were affected. The ratio of number of granulomas to number of the 3 larval species free in the mesentery was 1:1.3. Differences in prevalences and intensities were significant among all locations. Granuloma abundance was highest in samples from the Elbe estuary decreasing in the other locations relative to their distance from the Elbe. There was no relationship between the number of larvae encapsulated on the stomach wall and the number of larval P decipjens in the musculature (r = 0.3). Host condition factor could not be related to number of granulomas. Smelt appaears to be an important transmitter of spiruroid nematode larvae to marine birds in this region.
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