Non-native parasitic copepod Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930) utilizes non-native fish host Lepomis gibbosus (L.) in the floodplain of the River Dyje (Danube basin)
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The parasitic copepod Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930) (Ergasilidae), native to east Asia, is widely distributed in Asia, Europe, and North and Central America. Recently, this species appeared in lentic water bodies of the River Dyje floodplain (Danube basin, Czech Republic). It was first recorded in 2015 and in 2 years it reached a 100% prevalence in recently expanding non-native fish host, Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Centrarchidae, native to North America) at two borrow pits. Abundance of N. japonicus increased with fish length, with maximum intensity of infection reaching 99 parasites per fish. The parasite was most frequently found attached to the dorsal and anal fins of fish, while preference for the dorsal fin was more evident with lower infection intensities. Utilization of expanding fish hosts in water bodies that are regularly interconnected via natural or managed flooding may support the rapid dispersal of this non-native parasite.
KeywordsNeoergasilus Copepod Lepomis Species introductions Centrarchidae 18S, 28S rDNA
We would like to thank Dr. Seth White for proofreading the English text.
This study received financial support through the European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology under the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic—Centre of Excellence Grant No. P505/12/G112.
Compliance with ethical standards
Ethical note statement
The research was undertaken in line with the ethical requirements of the Czech Republic, and has been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The sampling, transportation, maintenance, and care of experimental fish, as well as method of fish killing complied with legal requirements in the Czech Republic (§7, Law No. 114/1992 about the protection of nature and landscape and § 6, 7, 9, and 10 regulation No. 419/2012 about the care, breeding, and using experimental animals). Researchers involved in this study (MO and PJ) are certified according to Czech legal requirements (§15, Law No. 246/1992 on Animal Welfare) to work with experimental animals.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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