Although the red colour of brine shrimps has previously been supposed to be associated with cestode parasitism, no evidence has been provided that red and transparent brine shrimps differ in their role for cestode circulation. We compared the cestode infections in 100 red and 100 transparent Artemia parthenogenetica collected from the Odiel salt pans in Spain. Seven cestode species were recorded in red, and only four of them were recorded in transparent brine shrimps. The red brine shrimps were more infected with cysticercoids than transparent individuals (prevalence, 87 vs 21%; mean intensity, 1.56 vs 1.00; mean abundance, 1.35 vs 0.21). Three cestode species (Flamingolepis liguloides, Anomotaenia tringae and Confluaria podicipina) had significantly higher prevalence and mean abundance in red brine shrimps. These results suggest that red brine shrimps have a more important role for the circulation of avian cestodes than transparent individuals of the same population.
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