Parasite Dispersal From the Ornamental Goldfish Trade

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Goldfish, Carassius auratus Linnaeus, 1758, are immensely popular ornamental cyprinid fish, traded in more than 100 countries. For more than 500 years, human translocation has facilitated the spread of goldfish globally, which has enabled numerous and repeated introductions of parasite taxa that infect them. The parasite fauna assemblage of goldfish is generally well documented, but few studies provide evidence of parasite coinvasion following the release of goldfish. This review provides a comprehensive synopsis of parasites that infect goldfish in farmed, aquarium-held, native, and invasive populations globally and summarises evidence for the cointroduction and coinvasion of goldfish parasites. More than 113 species infect goldfish in their native range, of which 26 species have probably coinvaded with the international trade of goldfish. Of these, Schyzocotyle acheilognathi (Cestoda: Bothriocephalidae), Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ciliophora: Ichthyophthiriidae), Argulus japonicus (Crustacea: Argulidae), Lernaea cyprinacea (Crustacea: Ergasilidae), Dactylogyrus anchoratus, Dactylogyrus vastator and Dactylogyrus formosus (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) are common to invasive goldfish populations in more than four countries and are considered a high risk of continued spread. Coinvasive parasites include species with direct and complex life cycles, which have successfully colonised new environments through utilisation of either new native hosts or suitable invasive hosts. Specifically, I. multifiliis, A. japonicus and L. cyprinacea can cause harm to farmed freshwater fish species and are important parasites to consider for biosecurity. These species may threaten other aquatic animal industries given their low host specificity and adaptable life histories. Future attention to biosecurity, management and border detection methods could limit the continued spread of exotic parasites from the ornamental trade of goldfish.




Trujillo-González, A., Becker, J. A., & Hutson, K. S. (2018). Parasite Dispersal From the Ornamental Goldfish Trade. In Advances in Parasitology (Vol. 100, pp. 239–281). Academic Press.

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