DAO 66:87-90 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao066087

Cymothoa indica (Crustacea, Isopoda, Cymothoidae) parasitizes the cultured larvae of the Asian seabass Lates calcarifer under laboratory conditions

M. Rajkumar1, P. Perumal1, J. P. Trilles2,*

1Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai 608 502, Tamil Nadu, India
2UMR 5171 (UM2-IFREMER-CNRS) (Génome, Populations, Interactions, Adaptations), Equipe Adaptation Ecophysiologiqueet Ontogenèse, Université Montpellier II, CP 092, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Parasitic disease in fishes is one of the most important factors limiting aquaculture production and its economic viability. Cymothoa indica, a cymothoid isopod, is reported here for the first time parasitizing cultured larvae of the Asian seabass Lates calcarifer in India. Fourteen-day-old L. calcarifer larvae of mean weight 8.73 ± 0.03 mg were fed with wild zooplankton in the laboratory. On Day 14 of rearing, larvae were found parasitized by cymothoids. Infected larvae reached a mean (±SE) weight of 98.86 ± 0.30 mg, while uninfected specimens weighed 117 ± 0.43 mg at the end of the experiment (Day 21). C. indica occurred in the branchial and anterodorsal regions of infected fish, where resultant skin lesions were red, hemorrhagic, without scales and with abundant secreted mucus. The cumulative mortality over the 3 wk period was 16.54%. These parasites are transferred to the host via the zooplankton used as food; this could easily be overcome, either by filtering wild zooplankton to remove the infectious swimming larvae of C. indica or by using cultured copepods.

KEY WORDS: Cymothoid · Isopod · Parasite · Cymothoa indica · Lates calcarifer · Larvae · India

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