The first record of the invasive Asian fish tapeworm (Schyzocotyle acheilognathi) from an endemic cichlid fish in Madagascar

Open access


The Asian fish tapeworm, Schyzocotyle acheilognathi (Yamaguti, 1934) (Cestoda: Bothriocephalidea), is an invasive parasite of freshwater fishes that have been reported from more than 200 freshwater fish worldwide. It was originally described from a small cyprinid, Acheilognathus rombeus, in Japan but then has spread, usually with carp, minnows or guppies, to all continents including isolated islands such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba or Sri Lanka. In the present account, we report the first case of the infection of a native cichlid fish, Ptychochromis cf. inornatus (Perciformes: Cichlidae), endemic to Madagascar, with S. acheilognathi. The way of introduction of this parasite to the island, which is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, is briefly discussed.

Bauer, O.N., Musselius, V.A., Strelkov, Y.A. (1973): Diseases of Pond Fishes. Jerusalem, Israel, Israel Programme for Scientific Translations, 220 pp.

Benstead, J.P., De Rham P.H., Gattolliat, J.-L., Gibon, F.-M., Loiselle, P.V., Sartori, M., Sparks J.S., Stiassny, M.L.J. (2003): Conserving Madagascar’s freshwater biodiversity. BioScience, 53: 1101 – 1111. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[1101:CMFB]2.0.CO;2

Brabec, J., Kuchta, R., Scholz, T., Littlewood, D.T.J. (2016): Paralogues of nuclear ribosomal genes conceal phylogenetic signal within the invasive Asian fish tapeworm lineage: evidence from next generation sequencing data. Int. J. Parasitol., 46: 555 – 562. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2016.03.009

Brabec, J., Waeschenbach, A., Scholz, T., Littlewood, D.T.J., Kuchta, R. (2015): Molecular phylogeny of the Bothriocephalidea (Cestoda): molecular data challenge morphological classification. Int. J. Parasitol., 45: 761 – 771. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2015.05.006

Choudhury, A., Charipar, E., Nelson, P., Hodgson, J.R., Bonar, S., Cole, R.A. (2006): Update on the distribution of the invasive Asian fish tapeworm, Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, in the U.S. and Canada. Comp. Parasitol., 73: 269–273. DOI: 10.1654/4240.1

Dove, A.D.M., Cribb, T.H., Mockler, S.P., Lintermans, M. (1997): The Asian fish tapeworm, Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, in Australian freshwater fishes. Mar. Freshw. Res., 48: 181 – 183. DOI: 10.1071/MF96069

Font, W. F. (2003) The global spread of parasites: what do Hawaiian streams tell us? Bioscience, 53: 1061 – 1067

Gibson, D.I., Bray, R.A., Harris, E.A. (Compilers) (2005): Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London. World Wide Web electronic publication.

Hobbes, J., Dolan, A. (2008): World Regional Geography. 6th edition. Belmont, California, USA, Cengage Learning, 752 pp.

Khalil, L.F., Polling, L. (1997): Check List of the Helminth Parasites of African Freshwater Fish. 2nd edition. Pietersburg, South Africa, University of the North, 185 pp.

Kiener, A. (1963): Poissons, pêche et pisciculture à Madagascar. Publ. Centre Techn. For. Trop., 24: 244 pp.

Kuchta, R., Burianová, A., Jirků, M., de Chambrier, A., Oros, M., Brabec, J., Scholz, T. (2012): Bothriocephalidean tapeworms (Cestoda) of freshwater fish in Africa, including erection of Kirstenella n. gen. and description of Tetracampos martinae n. sp. Zootaxa, 3309: 1 – 35.

Kuchta, R., Scholz, T., Bray, R.A. (2008): Revision of the order Bothriocephalidea Kuchta, Scholz, Brabec & Bray, 2008 (Eucestoda) with amended generic diagnoses and keys to families and genera. Syst. Parasitol., 71: 81 – 136. DOI: 10.1007/s11230-008-9153-7

Lévêque, C. (1997): Biodiversity Dynamics and Conservation: The Freshwater Fish of Tropical Africa. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 438 pp.

Mendlová, M, Desdevises, Y, Civáňová, K, Pariselle, A, Šimková, A. (2012): Monogeneans of West African cichlid fish: evolution and cophylogenetic interaction. PLoS ONE, 7: e37268. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037268

Ogbulie, T.E., Nwigwe, H.C., Anyadoh, S.O. (2011): Comparative assessment of bioload of healthy and diseased Oreochromis niloticus as means of food security. Anal. Univ. Oradea, Fasc. Biol., 18: 10 – 14

Oros, M., Scholz, T., Hanzelová, V., Mackiewicz, J.S. (2010): Scolex morphology of monozoic cestodes (Caryophyllidea) from the Palaeartctic Region: a useful tool for species identification. Folia Parasitol., 57: 37 – 46. DOI: 10.14411/fp.2010.006

Paperna, I. (1996): Parasites, Infections and Diseases of Fishes in Africa: An Update. CIFA Technical Paper.

Pool, D.W., Chubb, J.C. (1985): A critical scanning electron microscope study of the scolex of Bothriocephalus acheilognathi Yamaguti, 1934, with a review of the taxonomic history of the genus Bothriocephalus parasitizing cyprinid fishes. Syst. Parasitol., 7: 199 – 211. DOI: 10.1007/BF00011451

Rosemary, G.G., Clague, D.A. (2009): Encyclopedia of Islands. Berkeley, USA, University of California Press, 1075 pp.

Scholz, T. (1999): Parasites in cultured and feral fish. Vet. Parasitol., 84: 317 – 335. DOI: 10.1023/A:1006120500518

Scholz, T., Kuchta, R., Williams, C. (2012): Bothriocephalus achelognathi. In: Woo, P.T.K., Buchmann, K. (Eds) Fish Parasites. Pathobiology and Protection. Chapter 18. Wallingford, UK, CAB International, pp. 282 – 297

Sparks, J.S., Smith, W.L. (2004): Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the Malagasy and South Asian cichlids (Teleostei: Perciformes: Cichlidae). Mol. Phyl. Evol., 30: 599 – 614. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2004.07.002

Williams, H.H., Jones, A. (1994): Parasitic Worms of Fishes. London & Bristol, UK, Taylor & Francis, 593 pp.

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.417
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.619

CiteScore 2016: 0.58

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.316
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.678

Target Group researchers in the field of human, veterinary medicine and natural science

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 306 279 18
PDF Downloads 190 183 16