Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Hematology, plasma biochemistry, and tissue enzyme activities of invasive red lionfish captured off North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

The red lionfish Pterois volitans is important not only in the aquarium trade but also as an invasive species in the western Atlantic. Introduced to waters off the southeastern coast of the United States, red lionfish have rapidly spread along much of the East Coast and throughout Bermuda, the Bahamas, and much of the Caribbean. Hematology and plasma biochemistry were evaluated in red lionfish captured from the offshore waters of North Carolina to establish baseline parameters for individual and population health assessment. Blood smears were evaluated for total and differential white blood cell counts, and routine clinical biochemical profiles were performed on plasma samples. To improve the interpretive value of routine plasma biochemistry profiles, tissue enzyme activities (alkaline phosphatase [ALP], alanine aminotransferase [ALT], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], γ-glutamyl transferase [GGT], lactate dehydrogenase [LD], and creatine kinase [CK]) were analyzed from liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, gastrointestinal tract, and heart tissues from five fish. The hematological and plasma biochemical values were similar to those of other marine teleosts except that the estimated white blood cell counts were much lower than those routinely found in many species. The tissue enzyme activity findings suggest that plasma LD, CK, and AST offer clinical relevance in the assessment of red lionfish.