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Morphological aspects and histological effects of the attachment organ of Parabrachiella sp. (Copepoda: Lernaeopodidae) on the grey mullet, Mugil liza Valenciennes


Correspondence S E Plaul, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Cátedra de Histología y Embriología, UNLP. La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina (e-mail:


The genus Parabrachiella Wilson, 1915 (Lernaeopodidae) is represented by copepods that are highly adapted to a parasitic way of life. In Argentina, only P. insidiosa var. lageniformis Heller, 1865, P. chevreuxii Van Beneden, 1891 and P. spinicephala Ringuelet, 1945 have been cited, but none of these have been reported on mugilids. Recently, other species of this genus were found attached to the nasal cavities of juvenile grey mullets, Mugil liza Valenciennes, from Samborombón bay, Buenos Aires province. In this study, the prevalence and mean intensity of the Parabrachiella sp. on grey mullet is investigated. In addition, the damage the parasite imposes on its hosts is examined through evaluation of histological sections and immunostaining for proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The morphology of the parasite's bulla is described from light and scanning electron micrographs.