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Ectoparasitic copepod infestation on a wild population of Neotropical catfish Sciades herzbergii Bloch, 1794: Histological evidences of lesions on host

Fogel, Deborah, Fuentes, José Luis, Soto, Luz Marina, Lafuente, Wilson, Moncayo-Estrada, Rodrigo, López, Carlos
International journal for parasitology 2017 v.6 no.3 pp. 344-348
Lepeophtheirus, Sciades herzbergii, body length, catfish, ectoparasites, females, fish skin, group size, histology, immatures, males
We analyzed the infestation of the attached copepod species Lepeophtheirus sp on a wild population of Sciades herzbergii. The infestation and occurrence of attached copepods were related to body size, maturity and sex of host and the presence of lesions on fish skin were described. In 61 fish specimens (37 males and 24 females), total of 218 ectoparasitic copepods, including 204 mature and 14 immature stages were found. Copepods were attached to different regions of fish body without any regular pattern. The prevalence of infestation was 80.3% and intensity between 1 and 15 copepods/fish. No significant differences were found between sex or maturity and the presence of attached Lepeophtheirus sp. However, a contingency table including both sex and maturity status, and the total number of attached copepod per combined category showed a significant association. A positive correlation was found between body length of fish and intensity of infestation. Similarly, when comparing the infested fish according to group size, we found more copepods on larger individual. Attached copepods were associated with the presence of lesions visible to the naked eye. Histological analyses showed changes in cell architecture when sections of copepod-free tissues and attached copepods were compared.