Spread of an Exotic Fish-Gill Trematode: A Far-Reaching and Complex Problem
Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Centrocestus formosanus, the gill trematode, has caused serious losses among fish 0 raised by tropical fish producers since the early 1980s and is believed to be harmful to wild fish populations, including the federally listed endangered fountain darter (Etheostoma fonticola), in the Comal River near San Marcos, Texas. The parasite appears to infect in many fishes from Hawaii, Florida, Texas, and Utah. The gill trematode has a complex life cycle involving definitive hosts (aquatic birds and occasionally some mammals) and intermediate hosts (aquatic snails and several fish species). In the United States, the green heron (Butorides virescens) and the great egret (Ardea alba) serve as definitive hosts. The first intermediate host, the red-rim melania (Melanoides tuberculatus), an exotic snail, has been found in 15 southern and western states. This snail exhibits resistance to desiccation, molluscicides, and disinfectants and has been documented to out-compete established mollusks. Both the gill trematode and its exotic snail host continue to spread in the United States.
Mitchell, A. J.,
Overstreet, R. M.,
Goodwin, A. E.,
Brandt, T. M.
(2005). Spread of an Exotic Fish-Gill Trematode: A Far-Reaching and Complex Problem. Fisheries, 30(8), 11-16.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/2705