Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 53(S1): 63-76



Larval fish assemblages in two nearshore areas of the Humboldt Current System during autumn-winter in northern Chile

Lissette D. Paredes1,2*, Mauricio F. Landaeta3,4 and M. Teresa González2

1Programa de Magíster en Ecología de Sistema Acuáticos, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Recursos Biológicos, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
2Instituto de Ciencias Naturales AvH, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Recursos Biológicos, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avenida Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
3Laboratorio de Ictioplancton (LABITI), Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avenida Borgoño 16344, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile
4Centro de Observación Marino para Estudios de Riesgos del Ambiente Costero (COSTA-R), Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile 
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In the Chilean coast, sharks and rays are one of the least studied fish groups, therefore quantitative data about their
parasites are scarce or almost non existing. Copepod parasites were collected from different sites along corporal body of
Prionace glauca (n= 12) and of Isurus oxyrinchus (n= 1) captured onboard cruise OCEARCH during March and April 2014. Three species belonging to the Pandaridae family were identified: Echthrogaleus coleoptratus, Dinemoura producta and Nessipus orientalis. The latter species is here recorded for the first time in Chilean waters. These copepods did not show infection site preferences along host body. Considering the wide range of hosts described for these parasite species, it is concluded they are generalist parasites of wide geographic distribution

This paper presents an analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in the fish larvae composition of two geographically adjacent nearshore areas within the Humboldt Current System (HCS), northern Chile. Five surveys were performed at Isla Santa María (ISM) and Punta Coloso (COL), Mejillones Peninsula. Ichthyoplankton were collected every 15 days in 2014 during the austral autumn-winter (May to August). A total of 412,410 fish larvae belonging to 36 taxa were identified, a high abundance compared with other HCS regions. Data also revealed similarities in species recorded compared with central Chile as well as differences compared with central Peru; a number of families were shared between these HCS regions and other systems (e.g., Canarias Current System). ISM was dominated by intertidal-subtidal species (e.g., Helcogrammoides cunninghami), while Engraulis ringens was most abundant at COL. Several species were positively correlated with dissolved oxygen (e.g., Auchenionchus microcirrhis), as well as temperature and Ekman transport (e.g., Sebastes oculatus), while the presence of others is negatively related to the same environmental parameters (e.g., Graus nigra). Results suggest that larvae differently utilize these two areas as a refuge or for feeding, and that adults might be coupling their spawning periods with short-term oceanographic features. Larval fish assemblages of nearshore areas in northern Chile are described here for the first time and highlight the important role of these two areas in the early developmental stages of fish species.

Key words:   Ichthyoplankton, epipelagic fishes, intertidal-subtidal fishes, Humboldt Current System