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Parasites of commercially important fish from Lake Naivasha, Rift Valley, Kenya


In Lake Naivasha, the common carp Cyprinus carpio L. 1758 was accidentally introduced from fish farms adjacent to River Malewa in 1999 and now forms the bulk of the total fish caught. Since its introduction, no study has been made on its parasitic community nor are there any reports on ectoparasites from other fish species in this lake to the best of our knowledge. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the parasitic community of C. carpio and two other commercially important fish species: Oreochromis leucostictus and Tilapia zillii. Additionally, the abundant Barbus paludinosus was included in the study. A total of 286 fish (145C. carpio, 56 O. leucostictus, 18 T. zillii, and 67 B. paludinosus) were collected during the year 2011 and examined. Ten taxa of parasites were recovered from C. carpio dominated by the monogenean Dactylogyrus minutus, occurring with a prevalence (p) of 99.3 %. Thirteen taxa of parasites were identified from O. leucostictus dominated by monogeneans Cichlidogyrus spp. (p = 91.1 %). T. zillii harbored nine taxa of parasites with the digenean Tylodelphys sp. (p = 83.3 %) being dominant and B. paludinosus harbored 11 taxa of parasites dominated by an unidentified monogenean of the genus Dactylogyrus (p = 83.6 %). C. carpio had the lowest helminth species diversity and richness while monogenetic trematodes, which have never been reported from fish in Lake Naivasha, were the most prevalent parasites recovered.

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We thank the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH), Centre for International Cooperation & Mobility (ICM) for funding this study through a scholarship/grant award within the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for development—APPEAR. We thank Helmut Sattmann and Christoph Hörweg (Museum of Natural History of Vienna, Austria), Sean Locke (Environment Canada), Robert Konecny (University of Vienna, Austria), and Simonetta Mattiucci (University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy) for helping in parasite identifications. We also thank the Fisheries Department, Naivasha for provision of the boat and crew; Egerton University, Njoro for the provision of laboratory space, facilities, and technical assistance; and The National Council of Science and Technology, Kenya for issuance of research permit number NCST/RR1/12/1/BS011/46.

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Correspondence to Franz Jirsa.

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Otachi, E.O., Magana, A.E.M., Jirsa, F. et al. Parasites of commercially important fish from Lake Naivasha, Rift Valley, Kenya. Parasitol Res 113, 1057–1067 (2014).

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  • Common Carp
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Vitreous Humor
  • Gill Arch
  • Parasitic Community