Metazoan parasite communities and diet of the velvet belly lantern shark

paper3Published online on 26. December 2014

Metazoan parasite communities and diet of the velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae): a comparison of two deep-sea ecosystems

W. Isbert, C. Rodríguez-Cabello, I. Frutos, I. Preciado. F. E. Montero, A. Pérez-del-Olmo


By combining an examination of stomach contents yielding a snapshot of the most recent trophic niche and the structure of parasite communities reflecting a long-term feeding niche, this study aimed at gaining more comprehensive information on the role of the small-sized deep-water velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax in the local food webs of the Galicia Bank and the canyon and valley system of the Avilés Canyon, which have been both proposed for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network of protected areas. As far as is known, this study provides the first comparative parasite infracommunity data for a deep-sea shark species. Component parasite communities in E. spinax were relatively rich, whereas the infracommunities were rather depauperate, with similar low diversity at both localities. The significant differences in the composition and structure of both parasite communities and prey assemblages indicate differential effects of the two deep-sea ecosystems on both long-term and most recent trophic niches of E. spinax. These results underline the importance of the use of multivariate analyses for the assessment of geographical variation in shark populations based on parasites and diet data.

Journal of Fish Biology. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12591



Leave a Reply