Short communication:Potential ectoparasites of the endemic Mediterranean banded killifish (Aphanius fasciatus, Valenciennes, 1821) of the northern Sahara (Algeria)

Document Type: Research Paper


University of Kasdi Merbah, Ouargla, Algeria


The Aphanius fasciatus is an endemic fish species of the coastal Mediterranean region; and recently discovered in the northern Algerian Sahara. The aim of this study is to evaluate the infestation by ectoparasites on A. fasciatus in the new arid habitats where it was newly recorded. For this purpose, skin and gills of 95 fish caught in the Still Wadi (Still river), between September 2012 and July 2013, were examined. The parasitological examination, revealed the presence of 116 parasites belonging to 6 genera, isolated only on the gills. Analysis of parasite rates indicates that parasite prevalence is slightly higher in cold period of the year (38%) than in hot one (35%). The females are more infested than males. Depending on age, juveniles are the least infested. The parasitic prevalence varies significantly depending on the age (χ2 = 10.14; P = 0.017). Similarly, large fish (Total length > 3.5 cm), are the most infested. The generalized linear model GLM indicates a highly significant effect of the biologic and morphometric parameters (sex, age, total length) on the ectoparasites population abundance; while climate seasons has no significant effect. The ectoparasites load varies depending on the host species bioecology, independently to the climatic region. The taxonomy of the described parasites deserves further study.