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Subject: experimentally parasitize small fish?
From: Michael Robinson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:53:45 -0400

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Dear list,

I am looking for information on ways to experimentally parasitize small
freshwater fish.  I am not too concerned about the type of parasite, as long as
I can collect them afterwards.  I have found some information (see below), but I
was hoping someone would have some advice or experiences that they wouldn't mind

Thank you very much!

What I am thinking and what I have found:

I want to parasitize small, readily available freshwater fish.  I am thinking of
either guppies (Poecilia reticulata) or zebrafish (Danio rerio).  I have to have
a non-parasitized control group (no parasites at all), so I figured I could get
all fish from a supplier so they were clean of ALL parasites and then infect
one half of them.  Is it reasonable that I can get non-parasitized fish from a

It looks like I can parasitize the fish with Gyrodactylus (a monogean) either by
placing the parasite on the fish directly or housing parasitized fish with
non-parasitized fish.  I have a number of references on this already.  I get
the impression that these worms are easy to obtain from fish stores and
possibly from the wild.  Is that true?

For a variety of reasons, I would prefer to use Camallanus (or a similar
gastrointestinal nematode parasite).  I know that McMinn (1990) experimentally
infested guppies with Camallanus, but Iím not quite sure how he did it.  Can
anyone shed light on this for me?  Does anyone know where I can find him?

McMinn, H. (1990) Effects of the nematode parasite Camallanus cotti on sexual
and nonsexual behaviors in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Am. Zool. 30(2):

Again, thank you all very much for your time!


Michael P. Robinson 
Dept. of Biology              University of Miami
P.O. Box 249118               Coral Gables FL 33124-0421 

[log in to unmask]   web: 
305-284-4313                  fax: 305-284-3039

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