Parasite introduction with an invasive goby in Belgium: double trouble?

Tine Huyse, Maarten Vanhove, Merlijn Mombaerts, Filip Volckaert, Hugo Verreycken

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    Non-indigenous species may have negative impacts
    on the native fauna in their competition for food and
    habitat, but they can also introduce non-indigenous parasite
    species, with sometimes devastating consequences. Cointroduction
    of parasites should therefore be carefully monitored,
    but this aspect is mostly overlooked. The round goby
    Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814) and the tubenose goby
    Proterorhinus semilunaris (Heckel, 1937), both known for
    their invasiveness, have recently been discovered in Belgium.
    Here, we morphologically and genetically document the cointroduction of the Ponto-Caspian Gyrodactylus proterorhini Ergens, 1967, originally described on tubenose goby in southern Slovakia. Because of their direct life cycle and extraordinary reproductive capacities, gyrodactylid monogenean parasites can readily invade new areas together with the host. Moreover, G. proterorhini has a wide host range and might therefore represent a threat to other gobiid fishes. The Gyrodactylus parasite found on the Belgian round goby population is probably acquired through secondary infection from local fish, as suggested by molecular phylogenetic analysis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberDOI 10.1007/s00436-015-4544-6
    JournalParasitology Research
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Thematic list

    • Fish
    • Fauna
    • Invasive species (species diversity)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B280-animal-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • fishes (Pisces)
    • fish parasites

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