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Parasitic isopods (Gnathia sp.) reduce haematocrit in captive blackeye thicklip (Labridae) on the Great Barrier Reef

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Captive Hemigymnus melapterus exposed to large numbers of cultured juvenile parasitic isopods (Gnathia sp.) had significantly lower haematocrit (median 27·62% ± 5·83% inter‐quartile range) than uninfected, control fish (median 32·73% ± 4·90%). This study is the first to show that juvenile Gnathia sp. reduce total blood volume in H. melapterus. The low haematocrit in infected fish was most likely due to plasma replacing erythrocytes lost as a result of isopods feeding on fish blood.

Keywords: Gnathia; Hemigymnus melapterus; Isopoda; Labridae; haematocrit

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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