DAO 46:79-82 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao046079

First published record of the pathogenic monogenean parasite Neobenedenia melleni (Capsalidae) from Australia

Marty R. Deveney, Leslie A. Chisholm, Ian D. Whittington*

Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The monogenean Neobenedenia melleni (MacCallum, 1927) Yamaguti 1963 is a well-known and virulent pathogen in culture conditions recorded from the skin of many teleost fish species worldwide. Until now, N. melleni has not been reported from wild or cultured fish in Australian waters. This study documents a recent outbreak of N. melleni that occurred on Lates calcarifer (barramundi) cultivated in sea cages in Hinchinbrook Channel between Hinchinbrook Island and mainland Queensland, Australia, which resulted in the loss of 200 000 fish (50 tonnes). The origin of this outbreak is unclear because N. melleni has not been recorded from any wild host species in Australia and strict quarantine regulations exclude the possibility of its introduction on imported fish. We propose that N. melleni occurs naturally on wild populations of some teleost species in Australian waters and that the few surveys of wild fish conducted along the east coast have failed to report this species. The possibility that uncharacteristically low water temperatures led to the outbreak is discussed.

KEY WORDS: Monogenea · Capsalidae · Neobenedenia melleni · Sea cage aquaculture · Lates calcarifer · Ectoparasitic disease · Australia

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