Skin toxins and external parasitism of coral-dwelling gobies

Authors

  • P. L. Munday,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity and School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia and
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  • M. Schubert,

    1. Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity and School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia and
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  • J. A. Baggio,

    1. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
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  • G. P. Jones,

    1. Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity and School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia and
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  • M. J. Caley,

    1. Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity and School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia and
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    • §

      Present address: Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No. 3, Townsville MC, QLD 4810, Australia.

  • A. S. Grutter

    1. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: +61 7 47815341; fax: +61 7 47251570; email: philip.munday@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

Toxic (Gobiodon spp.) and non-toxic (Paragobiodon xanthosomus) gobies became infected with external parasites (gnathiid isopods) at equal rates in a laboratory experiment. Parasites were evenly distributed over the body of P. xanthosomus but were mostly confined to the fins of Gobiodon spp., where toxin glands are less abundant. Skin toxins were not associated with the rate of infection but their distribution did appear to influence the site of parasite attachment.

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