Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Checklist of parasites for Ponto-Caspian gobies (Actinopterygii: Gobiidae) in their native and non-native ranges.

Abstract

This study provides a comprehensive checklist of parasites reported for native and non-native populations of seven Ponto-Caspian goby species, i.e. Babka gymnotrachelus, Neogobius fluviatilis, N. melanostomus, Ponticola gorlap, P. kessleri, Proterorhinus semilunaris and P. semipellucidus, all of which have recently expanded their natural range, either by transoceanic translocation or along the three main European intracontinental invasion corridors. In some cases, invasion success is facilitated by loss of natural enemies, such as predators and parasites; thus, knowledge of a species natural parasite fauna is essential for assessments of enemy release in the host's non-native range. The study is based on published literature and personal unpublished data related to parasites of Ponto-Caspian gobiids. A total of 249 parasite taxa have been reported during 1931-2019, with higher numbers reported from native (214) than non-native (151) ranges. This checklist indicates apparent reduction in native parasites in non-native ranges in all goby species, although parasite colonisation in non-native ranges differs between fish species and invasion corridors. Interestingly, the cumulative number of species reported is still gradually increasing in both ranges. Acquisition of high number of local parasite species also indicates competence of Ponto-Caspian gobies to a wide range of generalist parasites.