Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Alien parasites on an alien fish species: monogeneans from the black bullhead Ameiurus melas (Siluriformes) in the Lake Srebarna Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria, with the first record of Gyrodactylus nebulosus in the Palaearctic.

Abstract

Black bullhead Ameiurus melas (Actinopterygii: Siluriformes) is an alien fish species of North American origin, which has expanded its invasive geographical range in Europe. In 2017-2019, 32 black bullhead specimens from the Lake Srebarna Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria, were examined for monogenean parasites. Two species of monogeneans were recorded and identified on the basis of morphological and molecular data: Ligictaluridus pricei (Ancyrocephalidae), with prevalence 100% and intensity 2-32 (mean 13.3 ± 6.8), and Gyrodactylus nebulosus (Gyrodactylidae), with prevalence 72.0% and intensity 1-15 (mean 7.4 ± 4.3). Partial 18S rDNA and the ITS1 region of L. pricei were sequenced. For G. nebulosus, sequenced genes included the partial 18S rDNA and the entire ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 region as well as the mitochondrial COI gene. Both recorded monogenean species are specific parasites of North American ictalurid fishes and alien to Europe. The present study is the first record of L. pricei from Bulgaria and the first record of G. nebulosus from Europe and the Palaearctic Region.