Black spot is a common disease syndrome of freshwater fishes. This study provides information on the rank of density of the black spot agent and opercular bone alterations associated with at least one digenean, Uvulifer sp., infecting native and non-native catostomids and cyprinids of the Upper Colorado River Basin. We evaluated the density rank of pigmented metacercariae and associated alterations in the operculum of the bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus, flannelmouth sucker C. latipinnis, white sucker C. commersoni, catostomid hybrids, roundtail chub Gila robusta, and creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus, sampled from Muddy Creek, Wyoming, USA in 2003 or 2004. All fish species contained individuals that exhibited gross signs of the black spot agent. Bluehead and flannelmouth suckers had 100% prevalence of infection. Although the other suckers and chubs contained encysted metacercariae in at least one individual, the presence of pigmented metacercariae was not apparent (i.e. based on gross observations) in many individuals. Catostomids had higher densities of metacercariae than cyprinids, as shown by frequency distributions of density ranks. Opercular holes (i.e. holes that completely penetrated the opercle and were in direct association with the pigment associated metacercariae) and pockets (depressions on the external surface of the opercle associated with metacercariae) were abundant among catostomids but rare among cyprinids. ?? Inter-Research 2007.
Additional publication details
Infection by a black spot-causing species of Uvulifer and associated opercular alterations in fishes from a high-desert stream in Wyoming