Impact of Introduction:
A) Realized: A. japonicus parasitizes introduced Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in Lake Michigan. However, it is most typically found on C. auratus and C. carpio (Amin 1981).
B) Potential: A. japonicus can cause severe damage to the integument of its hosts, sometimes resulting in death. It can influence the appetite of a fish, subsequently affecting growth rates. It attaches to the skin, fins, or gills by way of suckers, and then feeds. It may also aid in the transmission of Rhabdovirus carpio, spring viraemia rhabdovirus, larval nematodes, and the fungal disease caused by Saprolegnia in some parts of the world (Gresty et al. 1993; Avenant-Oldewage 2001). This species has the potential to cause increased stress in Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), when it occurs in high densities. Experiments indicate that it does not prefer its common host C. auratus over native North American species such as the Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), nor is it more likely to detach from the latter as compared to the former (Lamarre and Cochran 1992).
A. japonicus is now widely distributed around the world and parasitizes many species of fish. In fact, it is probably capable of infecting almost all species of freshwater fish. It has been recorded on Labeo rohita, Catla catla, and Cirrhina mrigala in Pakistan; various cyprinids in Malaysia; tilapias, barbs, I. punctatus, Ctenopharyngodon idella, and other species in Puerto Rico and Cuba; and many species in South Africa, New Zealand, Britain, and other parts of Europe. In South Africa it has been known to reach near epidemic levels in all fish species present in some water bodies, and has the potential to cause drastic effects in local fish populations (Pilgrim 1967; Kruger et al. 1983; Seng 1986; Jafri and Ahmed 1991; Rushton-Mellor 1992; Bunkley-Williams and Williams 1994; Avenant-Oldewage 2001; Haond et al. 2003).
References: (click for full references)
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Rushton-Mellor, S.K. 1992. Discovery of the fish louse, Argulus japonicus Thiele (Crustacea: Branchiura), in Britain. Aquaculture and Fisheries Management 23:269-271.
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This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.