Aquarium Sciences and Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 301–311 | Cite as

Transmission Ecology and Larval Behaviour of Camallanus cotti (Nematoda, Camallanidae) Under Aquarium Conditions

  • Arne Levsen


The parasitic fish nematode Camallanus cotti has been reported from a number of freshwater fish species around the world. Its wide geographical distribution seems mainly to be the result of anthropogenic dissemination due to extensive ornamental fish trade. In most reports it is assumed that C. cotti's life cycle involves cyclopoid copepods as intermediate host and various freshwater fishes as final host. However, the species' relatively frequent and persistent occurrence in aquaria worldwide strongly indicates flexibility in its life cycle, i.e. the ability to infect the final host directly. The present study has shown that under aquaria conditions, without any presence of copepods, C. cotti is able to infect various phylogenetically distant fish species directly for at least three generations. It was further shown that the infective free-living first-stage larvae may survive for more than three weeks in the host-external environment and that their host-attracting behaviour is not precluding direct transmission to the final fish host. Any treatment for C. cotti under aquaculture or aquarium conditions should be directed towards both individual infected fish hosts as well as the free-living larvae on the substrate.

Camallanus Nematoda fish parasite direct transmission larval behaviour 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Levsen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture and Natural SciencesHedmark University CollegeBlœstadNorway

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