Original Research

Aspects of the ecology of the Asian tapeworm, Bothriocephalus acheilognathi Yamaguti, 1934 in yellowfish in the Vaal Dam, South Africa

A. Bertasso, A. Avenant-Oldewage
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 72, No 3 | a198 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v72i3.198 | © 2005 A. Bertasso, A. Avenant-Oldewage | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 15 September 2005 | Published: 15 September 2005

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A. Bertasso,
A. Avenant-Oldewage,

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Abstract

Seasonal surveys were conducted at the Vaal Dam between April 2000 and January 2001. Twenty smallmouth yellowfish (Labeobarbus aeneus) and 20 largemouth yellowfish (Labeobarbus kimberleyensis) were collected with the aid of gill nets. Surface water quality variables were included. The cestodes were identified as either Bothriocephalus acheilognathi Yamaguti, 1934 or "other cestode spp.". The majority (99.8 %) of the cestodes found in both yellowfish species were identified as B. acheilognathi (Asian tapeworm). The prevalence, mean intensity and abundance of B. acheilognathi in both yellowfish species were calculated. Ecological parameters including species specificity, seasonality, gender specificity and relationships between fish size and the Asian tapeworm prevalence were also included. In this study, B. acheilognathi preferred L. kimberleyensis over L. aeneus although a low intensity was observed in smallmouth yellowfish. Furthermore, the infection (in terms of prevalence, abundance and mean intensity) in largemouth yellowfish was markedly higher. Seasonal patterns observed in the Asian tapeworm's infection of smallmouth yellowfish are attributed to breeding and subsequent feeding patterns of this fish species with relatively high infections recorded in winter and spring. For L. kimberleyensis no explanation can be given regarding the seasonal patterns observed for the mean intensity and abundance of B. acheilognathi. The maximum and minimum mean intensity and abundance values in largemouth yellowfish were recorded in autumn and spring, respectively. In addition, the prevalence of B. acheilognathi was consistently high in all four seasons.

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