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Aquatic Biology

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AB 9:185-192 (2010)  -  DOI:

Microparasite ecology and health status of common bluestriped snapper Lutjanus kasmira from the Pacific Islands

Thierry M. Work1,*, Matthias Vignon2,3, Greta S. Aeby4

1US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center, Honolulu Field Station, PO Box 50167, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850, USA
2Centre de Biologie et d’Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, UMR 5244 CNRS-EPHE-UPVD, avenue Paul Alduy, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
3Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE), USR 3278 CNRS-EPHE, BP 1013 Papetoia, Moorea, French Polynesia
4Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, PO Box 1346, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, USA

ABSTRACT: Common bluestriped snappers Lutjanus kasmira were intentionally introduced into Hawaii from the South Pacific in the 1950s and have become well established throughout the archipelago. We examined health, prevalence and infection intensity of 2 microparasites, coccidia and epitheliocystis-like organisms (ELO), in L. kasmira from their introduced and native range including the islands where translocated fish originated (Tahiti and Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia) and from several other islands (American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia). In addition, we did a longitudinal survey of these parasites in the introduced range. Coccidia and ELO were widely distributed and were found on all islands except for New Caledonia. Health indices, as measured by overall organ lesions, body condition and parasite intensity, indicated that fish from Samoa were the least healthy and fish from Midway (Hawaiian Archipelago) were the healthiest. Microparasite diversity was highest on Midway and Hawaii and lowest on New Caledonia. Infection of coccidia followed an asymptotic size–prevalence curve, whereas that of ELO peaked at larger size classes (27.8 cm). Prevalence and aggregation of both parasites in the host varied dynamically over 8 yr with prevalence and aggregation of coccidia being consistently higher and lower, respectively, than ELO. We hypothesize that these parasites are enzootic to the Hawaiian Islands and were not introduced with fish from Tahiti or the Marquesas Islands. Host response and aggregation parameters suggest that coccidia exert a negative effect on their host and probably have an indirect life cycle, whereas ELO appears less pathogenic and has a direct life cycle.

KEY WORDS: Common bluestriped snapper · Lutjanus kasmira · Coccidia · Pathology · Epitheliocystis-like organism · Prevalence · Pacific Islands

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Cite this article as: Work TM, Vignon M, Aeby GS (2010) Microparasite ecology and health status of common bluestriped snapper Lutjanus kasmira from the Pacific Islands. Aquat Biol 9:185-192.

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