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Glochidia ecology in wild fish populations and laboratory determination of competent host fishes for an endemic freshwater mussel of south-western Australia

Klunzinger, M.W., Beatty, S.J., Morgan, D.L., Thomson, G.J. and Lymbery, A.J. (2012) Glochidia ecology in wild fish populations and laboratory determination of competent host fishes for an endemic freshwater mussel of south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology, 60 (1). pp. 26-36.

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    Abstract

    Glochidia (parasitic larvae) of freshwater mussels generally require a fish as a host. Westralunio carteri Iredale, 1934 (Bivalvia : Hyriidae), the only freshwater mussel found in south-western Australia, was listed as Vulnerable, but recently changed to Least Concern (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Glochidia were found on four alien and seven native species of fish from 18 sites in the South West Coast Drainage Division. On alien fishes, prevalence of glochidia ranged from 0.0 to 41.0% and mean intensity (number of glochidia per infested fish) from 1.0 to 6.0, while on native fishes prevalence was 9.2–90.5% and intensity was 2.3–7.1. Glochidia infestation was greatest on benthic fishes, which may be a consequence of greater encounter rates, but other factors, such as host size, probably also influence glochidia prevalence and intensity. Glochidia were generally restricted to fins of infested fish, and were rarely on gills or the body surface. In the laboratory, four native and one alien fish species were found to be competent hosts for their ability to produce juvenile W. carteri, but two alien fish species were not. The inability of some alien fishes to produce juvenile W. carteri could potentially reduce recruitment success in areas dominated by alien fishes.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: Fish Health Unit
    Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
    Copyright: © CSIRO 2012
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9636
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