Identifying fish parasites can be a difficult task without the right guidance and resources.
The underwater world of fish is full of complex and interesting creatures. It is important for people who keep fish as pets, or who work in the fishing industry to be aware of the different parasites that can infect them.
This article provides an fish parasite identification guide with 16 easiest steps to identifying common fish parasitic groups.
How To Properly Identify A Fish’s Parasites?
Properly identifying fish parasites can be a bit tricky, as many different types of parasites can infect fish and they can present in a variety of ways.
However, there are 16 steps you can follow to help identify fish parasites:
|Organisms not microscopic, visible in naked eye||4|
|2||Body one celled, or a part of group of similar cells||Protozoa|
|3||Organism worm like, equipped with hooks and hooklets at posterior end of body; external parasites||Monogenea|
|4||Organism encysted on external surface of host||5|
|Organism not encysted on external surface of host||7|
|5.||Cyst containing one organism||6|
|Cyst containing thousands of organisms||Protozoa|
|6.||Organism one-called (Ichthyophthirius)||Protozoa|
|7.||Body more or less flattened||8|
|Body not flat||13|
|9.||Organism with anterior and posterior suckers, digestive tract present, external parasite only (may occur in mount)||Hirudinea|
|Organism with single anterior hold fast which may have several suckers, digestive tract absent, intestinal parasites||Cestoda|
|10.||Organisms with mouth and gut cavity, no anus, well developed organs of attachment||11|
|Organism without mount or gut cavities, poorly developed suckers at anterior end||12|
|11.||Organism equipped with hooks and hooklets at posterior holdfast||Monogenea|
|Organism lacking posterior hooks, equipped with oral and ventral suckers||Digenea|
|12.||Internal organs present, visible with aid of reflected light (Caryophyllidae)||Cestoda|
|Internal organ absent (larval form)||Cestoda|
|Body not cylindrical||16|
|14.||Body plastic, organism active; movements eel-like||Nematoda|
|Body not plastic, form fairly rigid||15|
|15.||Intestinal parasites, organism with numerous spines on proboscis at anterior end||Acanthocephala|
|External parasites, organism with antler-like protuberances at anterior end (Lernaea)||Copepoda|
|16.||Body leaf-like; resembling fish scale (Argulus)||Copepoda|
|Body viable, with obvious appendages for attachment to gills of host||Copepoda|
- A practical textbook of fish parasitology and health management. 2008. By Kirtunia Juran Chandra. UGC.