Parasitic copepods infestation on commercially exploited fishes from Kayamkulam backwater, Kerala, India
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Parasitic copepods infestation on three species of commercially important fishes belonging to the family Mugilidae (Liza parsia) and Cichlidae (Oreochromis mossambicus and Etroplus suratensis) from Kayamkulam backwater were analysed between February 2015 and January 2017, covering all the three seasons. A total of 2305 fishes were analysed for parasites. Out of these, 299 fishes were infested with different species of parasitic copepods. The analysis revealed the presence of ten species of parasites comprising of Ergasilus parvitergam, Ergasilus sieboldi, Ergasilus sp, Caligus epidemicus, caligus sp, Dermoergasilus hoi, Dermoergasilus sp, Nothobomolochus sp, Lernea sp and Lepiophtherius sp. The infestation dynamics of parasitic copepods in terms of prevalence, mean intensity and mean abundance were calculated to determine the degree of infestation on each species. A higher prevalence (40%), mean intensity (13.2) and mean abundance (5.3) were found in Liza parsia while Etroplus suratensis had the lesser prevalence. There is a significant difference in the prevalence (p < 0.05), mean intensity (p < 0.05) and mean abundance (p < 0.01) in the rate of infestation of Liza parsia among the stations during the year 2015–2016, where as Oreochromis mossambicus and Etroplus suratensis shows no significant difference in the rate of infestation. The rate of infestation with parasitic copepod was higher in 2015–2016 than in 2016–2017. A higher proportion of fishes were more infested in Choolatheruvu (Station 3) as compared to Ayiramthengu (Station 1) and Valiyazheekal (Station 2).
KeywordsCopepod Parasites Prevalence Mean intensity and infestation
Gratefully acknowledge the UGC for providing financial support to the first author with Junior Research Fellowship to carry out this study. The authors are thankful to the Department of Zoology, Sanatana Dharma College, Alappuzha for providing laboratory facilities to carry out this work.
The first author (Dhanya P) carried out the present study (identification of parasites, statistical analysis and manuscript writing were done by first author. The second author (S. Amina) provided help for identification of copepod parasites to the first author.
This study was funded by University Grant Commission, India. (Award Number: 206143088). The first author has received research grants (JRF) from UGC, India.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest among the authors who have contributed to this study.
Statement on ethical approval for using Fishes in laboratory
The fish species selected for the present study was not under the threatened or endangered category. These species were abundant in the study area and used as food fishes. We collected these fish species from local fishermen and from market. Died fishes were used for the detection of copepod parasites.
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