Parasitic Isopod Cymothoa eremita (Brünnich 1783) (Isopoda: Cymothoidae) Affects the Growth of Black Pomfret Parastromateus niger (Bloch 1795) in the Southeast Coast of India

  • P. Vigneshwaran
  • S. RavichandranEmail author
  • M. Prema


The black pomfret Parastromateus niger is often favored host for infestation by the cymothoid, buccal attaching ectoparasite Cymothoa eremita. This investigation aimed to evaluate the health status of black pomfret by means of relative condition factor under the existing parasitic cymothoids. Prevalence of C. eremita on black pomfret fish was high (42%) but large (>300 mm) and small fish (< 250) showed significantly lesser prevalence than intermediate-sized host fish. The harmful effects of parasite infection on their hosts include basihyal damage, a loss in buccal cavity volume as a result of female cymothoid infestation, and a severe impact on host growth. The diet composition examination was a small indication to suggest a change in either feeding habits or diet of fish where parasitized and non-parasitized fish occupied the similar tropic niche. Due to an infestation of C. eremita in P. niger, the relative condition factor in infested was found to be lower than that of the uninfested fish. C. eremita infestation can impair growth and decrease feeding efficiency in hosts, subsequently affecting health condition and survival.


Cymothoid Diet effect Growth effect Parasitism Relative condition factor Tongue eater 



This study was financially supported by Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India (SB/SO/AS/063/2014). Authors are thankful to Ahmet Ozer and A. J. Booth for the statistical advice.

Supplementary material

41208_2018_97_MOESM1_ESM.doc (295 kb)
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Advanced Study in Marine BiologyAnnamalai UniversityParangipettaiIndia

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