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

Aquatic Biology
By: , and 



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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Microparasite ecology and health status of common bluestriped snapper Lutjanus kasmira from the Pacific Islands
Series title Aquatic Biology
DOI 10.3354/ab00250
Volume 9
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Inter-Research
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 8 p.
First page 185
Last page 192
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