Intraspecific Variation in Growth and Reproduction of the Marine Leech, Heptacyclus buthi.J Parasitol. 2020 Jun 01; 106(3):578-581.JP
Heptacyclus buthi was harvested from fish hosts in rocky intertidal zones of Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, in October 2008 (n = 162) and October 2010 (n = 51). The size of the leeches was quantified using a method that approximated the sagittal cross-section of each specimen. Size-frequency curves were modeled to estimate the number of size-class cohorts in each year. If H. buthi is an annual species like many of its relatives, the single cohort modeled for in 2010 and the comparable "older" cohort in 2008, both with a broad range of sizes, may represent 1 component of its reproductive life history. A second, younger, more-numerous, less-variable cohort modeled from the 2008 sample may represent a second reproductive bout during that year that was prevented in the subsequent La Niña period of 2010-2011.