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Kate Suzanne Hutson, Alexander Karlis Brazenor, David Brendan Vaughan, Alejandro Trujillo-González
Global expansion in fish production and trade of aquatic ornamental species requires advances in aquatic animal health management. Aquatic parasite cultures permit diverse research opportunities to understand parasite-host dynamics and are essential to validate the efficacy of treatments that could reduce infections in captive populations. Monogeneans are important pathogenic parasites of captured captive fishes and exhibit a single-host life cycle, which makes them amenable to in vivo culture. Continuous cultures of oviparous monogenean parasites provide a valuable resource of eggs, oncomiracidia (larvae) and adult parasites for use in varied ecological and applied scientific research...
2018: Advances in Parasitology
Liang Li, Liang Lü, Steven A Nadler, David I Gibson, Lu-Ping Zhang, Hui-Xia Chen, Wen-Ting Zhao, Yan-Ning Guo
Ascaridoids are among the commonest groups of zooparasitic nematodes (roundworms) and occur in the alimentary canal of all major vertebrate groups, including humans. They have an extremely high diversity and are of major socio-economic importance. However, their evolutionary history remains poorly known. Here we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Ascaridoidea. Our results divided the Ascaridoidea into six monophyletic major clades, i.e. the Heterocheilidae, Acanthocheilidae, Anisakidae, Ascarididae, Toxocaridae and Raphidascarididae, among which the Heterocheilidae, rather than the Acanthocheilidae, represents the sister clade to the remaining ascaridoids...
March 8, 2018: Systematic Biology
Kelly D Hannan, Jodie L Rummer
Aquatic acidification, caused by elevating levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), is increasing in both freshwater and marine ecosystems worldwide. However, few studies have examined how acidification will affect oxygen (O2 ) transport and, therefore, performance in fishes. Although data are generally lacking, the majority of fishes investigated in this meta-analysis exhibited no effect of elevated CO2 at the level of O2 uptake, suggesting that they are able to maintain metabolic performance during a period of acidosis...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Ryo Nozu, Kiyomi Murakumo, Nagisa Yano, Rina Furuyama, Rui Matsumoto, Makio Yanagisawa, Keiichi Sato
Captive breeding in aquaria is a useful means for ex situ preservation of threatened elasmobranch species. To promote captive breeding, it is important to determine the female reproductive status. However, information regarding reproductive status in female elasmobranchs is limited. Here, we used zebra sharks, Stegostoma fasciatum, as a model for elasmobranch reproduction in captivity. We investigated the relationships among changes in the sex steroid hormone levels, follicle size, and egg-laying period to develop indicators for the female reproductive status...
March 3, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Michael Tessler, David Marancik, Donald Champagne, Alistair Dove, Alvin Camus, Mark E Siddall, Sebastian Kvist
Leeches (Annelida: Hirudinea) possess powerful salivary anticoagulants and, accordingly, are frequently employed in modern, authoritative medicine. Members of the almost exclusively marine family Piscicolidae account for 20% of leech species diversity, and feed on host groups (e.g., sharks) not encountered by their freshwater and terrestrial counterparts. Moreover, some species of Ozobranchidae feed on endangered marine turtles and have been implicated as potential vectors for the tumor-associated turtle herpesvirus...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Parasitology
Faith N Lambert, Jason R Treberg, W Gary Anderson, Catherine Brandt, Andrew N Evans
Although secondary stress physiology of elasmobranchs is fairly well studied, gaps remain in our understanding of species differences, including stress recovery. We examined the physiological stress response to air exposure in Atlantic stingrays (Hypanus sabinus) using a serial sampling method requiring minimal handling. Many elasmobranch stress studies exclusively quantify glucose, although there is evidence that elasmobranchs are unusually reliant on ketone bodies. Therefore, we also tested the hypothesis that ketone bodies play a significant role in the elasmobranch stress response by examining plasma β-hydroxybutyrate...
February 23, 2018: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Leonardo Manir Feitosa, Ana Paula Barbosa Martins, Tommaso Giarrizzo, Wagner Macedo, Iann Leonardo Monteiro, Romário Gemaque, Jorge Luiz Silva Nunes, Fernanda Gomes, Horácio Schneider, Iracilda Sampaio, Rosália Souza, João Bráullio Sales, Luís Fernando Rodrigues-Filho, Lígia Tchaicka, Luís Fernando Carvalho-Costa
Here, we report trading of endangered shark species in a world hotspot for elasmobranch conservation in Brazil. Data on shark fisheries are scarce in Brazil, although the northern and northeastern regions have the highest indices of shark bycatch. Harvest is made primarily with processed carcasses lacking head and fins, which hampers reliable species identification and law enforcement on illegal catches. We used partial sequences of two mitochondrial genes (COI and/or NADH2) to identify 17 shark species from 427 samples being harvested and marketed on the northern coast of Brazil...
February 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Sten Grillner
The neural circuits that control elasmobranch fins and the mammalian limbs have been found to exhibit striking similarities at the molecular, cellular and behavioral levels. The implication is that the neural substrate underlying limb control had already evolved 420 million years ago.
February 19, 2018: Current Biology: CB
B Sayyaf Dezfuli, M Manera, G Bosi, P Merella, J A DePasquale, L Giari
This investigation aims to fill gaps in our understanding of the intestinal immune cells of elasmobranchs. Whole digestive tracts of fifteen thornback ray Raja clavata were provided by a trawl fleet from the Gulf of Asinara (Sardinia, western Mediterranean Sea). Histochemical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural observations were conducted on the spiral intestine. Three types of granular cells were identified; type I in epithelium, types II and III in lamina propria-submucosa, with each of them containing cytoplasmic granules with different ultrastructural characteristics...
February 9, 2018: Fish & Shellfish Immunology
A R G Gauthier, D L Whitehead, I R Tibbetts, B W Cribb, M B Bennett
This study investigated and compared the morphology of the electrosensory system of three species of benthic rays. Neotrygon trigonoides, Hemitrygon fluviorum and Maculabatis toshi inhabit similar habitats within Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Like all elasmobranchs, they possess the ability to detect weak electrical fields using their ampullae of Lorenzini. Macroscopically, the ampullary organs of all three species are aggregated in three bilaterally paired clusters: the mandibular, hyoid and superficial ophthalmic clusters...
February 2018: Journal of Fish Biology
Daniela A Murillo-Cisneros, Todd M O'Hara, J Margaret Castellini, Alberto Sánchez-González, Fernando R Elorriaga-Verplancken, Ana J Marmolejo-Rodríguez, Emigdio Marín-Enríquez, Felipe Galván-Magaña
Total mercury concentrations ([THg]) were determined in muscle and liver of the bat ray (Myliobatis californica), shovelnose guitarfish (Pseudobatos productus) and banded guitarfish (Zapteryx exasperata). Generalized linear models (GLM) were used to determine the effects of size and sex in [THg] and showed that both are determinants of [THg] in these species. The [THg] in both tissues significantly increased with length especially in sexually mature organisms with a steeper slope for mature male than mature female...
January 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Bonnie J Holmes, Lisa C Pope, Samuel M Williams, Ian R Tibbetts, Mike B Bennett, Jennifer R Ovenden
Multiple paternity has been documented as a reproductive strategy in both viviparous and ovoviviparous elasmobranchs, leading to the assumption that multiple mating may be ubiquitous in these fishes. However, with the majority of studies conducted on coastal and nearshore elasmobranchs that often form mating aggregations, parallel studies on pelagic, semi-solitary species are lacking. The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is a large pelagic shark that has an aplacental viviparous reproductive mode which is unique among the carcharhinids...
January 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Catharine J Wheaton, Natalie D Mylniczenko, John M Rimoldi, Rama S V S Gadepalli, R Hart, Bobbi R O'Hara, Andrew N Evans
Sharks and rays are popular species used in wildlife ecotourism and aquariums to educate the public on the behavior, ecology and conservation challenges of elasmobranchs. To understand long-term physiological health and welfare under varying social and husbandry conditions, we developed and validated an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure stress/ionoregulatory hormones in managed and semi-free range southern rays (Hypanus americanus). Banked serum and interrenal samples from 27 female rays managed at Disney's The Seas with Nemo and Friends® and Castaway Cay were used to evaluate measurement of 1α-hydroxycorticosterone (1αOHB) relative to corticosterone (B)...
January 31, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
M du Preez, R Nel, H Bouwman
Bio-monitoring of pollutants in long-lived animals such as sea turtles is an important tool in ecotoxicology. We present the first report on metallic elements in sea turtle eggs from the Indian Ocean. Eggs of the leatherback and loggerhead turtle that breed on the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa were analysed for 30 elements. The eggshells and egg contents of the loggerhead turtle, the smaller of the two species, had higher or significantly higher concentrations than leatherbacks, except for strontium - the reason is unknown...
February 2, 2018: Chemosphere
Sara Bonanomi, Jacopo Pulcinella, Caterina Maria Fortuna, Fabrizio Moro, Antonello Sala
Elasmobranchs are among the most threatened long-lived marine species worldwide, and incidental capture is a major source of mortality. The northern central Adriatic Sea, though one of the most overfished basins of the Mediterranean Sea, supports a very valuable marine biodiversity, including elasmobranchs. This study assesses the impact of the northern central Adriatic pelagic trawl fishery on common smooth-hound (Mustelus mustelus), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), common eagle ray (Myliobatis aquila), and pelagic stingray (Pteroplatytrygon violacea) by examining incidental catches recorded between 2006 and 2015...
2018: PloS One
Janine N Caira, Kirsten Jensen, Carolyn A Fyler
Collections from the dwarf sawfish, Pristis clavata, near Darwin, Australia in 1997 led to the discovery of the new onchoproteocephalidean genus Matticestus n. gen.-a taxon that has been referred to in molecular phylogenetic analyses in which it has been included as "New genus 8." Its type species, Matticestus anneae n. gen., n. sp., and a second species, Matticestus kathleenae n. sp. are described. Placement of this taxon in the Onchoproteocephalidea is supported morphologically in that both species bear a scolex with 4 bothridia each with a pair of bipronged hooks and spinitriches that extend throughout the length of the body...
January 15, 2018: Journal of Parasitology
Katherine B Burgess, Michel Guerrero, Andrea D Marshall, Anthony J Richardson, Mike B Bennett, Lydie I E Couturier
Traditionally, large planktivorous elasmobranchs have been thought to predominantly feed on surface zooplankton during daytime hours. However, the recent application of molecular methods to examine long-term assimilated diets, has revealed that these species likely gain the majority from deeper or demersal sources. Signature fatty acid analysis (FA) of muscle tissue was used to examine the assimilated diet of the giant manta ray Mobula birostris, and then compared with surface zooplankton that was collected during feeding and non-feeding events at two aggregation sites off mainland Ecuador...
2018: PloS One
Vincent Raoult, Nicholas Howell, David Zahra, Victor M Peddemors, Daryl L Howard, Martin D de Jonge, Benjamin L Buchan, Jane E Williamson
The development of shark vertebrae and the possible drivers of inter- and intra-specific differences in vertebral structure are poorly understood. Shark vertebrae are used to examine life-history traits related to trophic ecology, movement patterns, and the management of fisheries; a better understanding of their development would be beneficial to many fields of research that rely on these calcified structures. This study used Scanning X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy to observe zinc distribution within vertebrae of ten shark species from five different orders...
2018: PloS One
Alexa J McDermott Delaune, Cara L Field, Tonya M Clauss
Blood transfusions can provide life-saving treatment to severely anemic animals. Due to limited availability and the difficulty of storing whole blood and blood products, such as fresh frozen plasma and packed red blood cells, exotic animals often receive fresh whole blood transfusions. Little is known about elasmobranch blood types and transfusions. Conspecific cross-matches within several different elasmobranch species were negative, indicating that in an emergency situation a single whole blood transfusion may be possible without causing a transfusion reaction...
December 2017: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Manuel Marcial Irigoitia, Paola Elizabeth Braicovich, Ana Laura Lanfranchi, Marisa Diana Farber, Juan Tomás Timi
In order to evaluate the infestation by anisakids present in elasmobranchs and their distribution in the Argentine Sea, this study was carried at a regional scale with the following aims: 1) to identify those anisakid species present in skates under exploitation; 2) to characterize quantitatively these infestations and 3) to determine those factors driving the variability in parasite burdens across skate species. A total of 351 skates, belonging to 3 species (218 Sympterygia bonapartii, 86 Zearaja chilensis and 47 Atlantoraja castelnaui) and from different localities of the Argentine Sea were examined for anisakids...
December 19, 2017: International Journal of Food Microbiology
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