Studies on the influence of some Ecological Characterististics of Fish on the Gastrointestinal Helminth Parasites infection in Warri River, Southern Nihgeria
This study investigated the influence of three ecological characteristics of fish (food and feeding habits, preference for habits and geographical distributed) on the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth, parasites infection. 800 fishes comprising 56 species from Warri River, southern Nigeria, were examined during the study and a total of 1331 gastrointestinal helminth parasites of various taxa were recovered from fish hosts. The association of food and feeding habits on helminth parasites infection was highly significant (P<0.010 for omnivorous and predatory
fishes. Omnivorous fishes recorded the highest prevalence (49.5%) of helminth infection followed by predatory fishes which had 35.6% prevalence of infection. Helminth parasites infection of herbivorous fishes and mud/silt/ sand feeders had no significant association (P>0.05) and recorded the least prevalence of helminth infection of 3.2% and 1.8% respectively . On the preference for habitats, benthopelagic fishes recorded the highest prevalence of helminth parasites infection of 44% (P>0.01), followed by benthic fishes with 40.9% prevalence of infection while pelagic fishes recorded the least prevalence of helminth infection of 15.1% (P>0.05). Lastly, the relationship of euryhaline fishes, with a wider geographical distribution on helminth parasites infection was significant (P>0.01) with a 39.7% prevalence of infection. On the other hand, brackish water fishes, with a restricted geographical distribution recorded the least prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth parasites infection of 28.8% (P>0.05). These findings showed that the ecological characteristics of fish investigated had a very significant effect of the gastrointestinal helminth parasites infection of hosts in Warri River.
Key words: Fish gastrointestinal, helminth parasites, prevalence, Warri River.