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Effect of Ligula intestinalis on the reproductive capacity of Rastrineobola argentea in Lake Victoria

Authors

  • I. G. Cowx,

    Corresponding author
    1. * Hull International Fisheries Institute, University of Hull, Hull, U.K. and Department for Fisheries Resources, Entebbe, Uganda
      †Tel.: 44 (0) 1482 466427; fax: 44 (0) 1482 465458; email: i.g.cowx@hull.ac.uk
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  • D. Rollins,

    1. * Hull International Fisheries Institute, University of Hull, Hull, U.K. and Department for Fisheries Resources, Entebbe, Uganda
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  • R. Tumwebaze

    1. * Hull International Fisheries Institute, University of Hull, Hull, U.K. and Department for Fisheries Resources, Entebbe, Uganda
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†Tel.: 44 (0) 1482 466427; fax: 44 (0) 1482 465458; email: i.g.cowx@hull.ac.uk

Abstract

This study examined the potential effect of the cestode Ligula intestinalis on the reproduction of the indigenous cyprinid Rastrineobola argentea in Lake Victoria. Ligula intestinalis had a marked effect on the breeding cycle of R. argentea. The proportion of the infected population in advanced stages of maturation prior to spawning was considerably reduced compared with uninfected fish. Infection by L. intestinalis significantly reduced the fecundity of individual fish, particularly in the 45–60 mm size range; the component of the population that makes the greatest contribution to reproductive output. The reduction in reproductive output of the R. argentea population could potentially affect replenishment of stocks in this important fishery.

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