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Abstract

A comparison between the levels of infection with Acanthocephala of the fish Notothenia coriiceps in Admiralty Bay (South Shetland Islands, Antarctic) in 1978/79 and 2007/08 is presented. The same eight acanthocephalan species, three echinorhynchids maturing in fish, Aspersentis megarhynchus (dominant species), Metacanthocephalus johnstoni (subdominant species) and M. dalmori (common species), and five polymorphids maturing in mammals and birds, Corynosoma hamanni , C. pseudohamanni (both co−dominant species), C. arctocephali and C. bullosum (both common species), and C. shackletoni (rare species), were found. Echinorhynchids were more numerous in 2007/08 (mean abundance 46.54 versus 35.35 in 1978/79), whereas polymorphids more numerous in 1978/79 (mean abundance 74.35 versus 36.40 in 2007/08). The overall results therefore demonstrated that echinorhynchids were more numerous than polymorphids in 2007/08 and the reverse was true in 1978/79. This situation is dependent mainly upon the decreased infections with C. hamanni , C. pseudohamanni and C. bullosum , and to a lesser degree upon the increasing of infections with M. johnstoni . The decrease of the three Corynosoma spp. is possibly associated with the decreasing of populations of final hosts, seals, on the shore of Admiralty Bay in the vicinity of Arctowski Station.
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