Helminth parasites of Clarias gariepinus (Teugels) in Zaria, Nigeria
AbstractA total of 240 Clarias gariepinus (Teugels) were randomly purchased from fish landings in Sabon-gari market, Zaria. The fish were examined parasitologically for gastrointestinal parasites. Five species of helminth parasites comprising 3 cestodes, 1 nematode and 1 acanthocephala were isolated from the fish. The cestodes and their prevalence were Anomotaenia sp. (2.5%), Monobothrium sp. (13.33%) and Polyonchobothrium clariae (1.67%). The nematode, Procamallanus laevionchus and the acanthocephalan, Neoechinorhynchus rutili had a prevalence of 0.83% and 0.83% respectively. Majority of the parasites were found in the intestine. Infection was limited to fish with length ranging from 30.0 – 39.9 cm (prevalence: 15.83%; mean intensity: 3.78) and 40.0 – 49.9 cm (prevalence: 3.33%; mean intensity: 2.5) Fish specimens that were lighter in weight (150.0 – 299.9 g) were free of infection, but those found with parasites weighed between 350.0 – 399.0 g (prevalence, 7.5%) and 450.0 – 500.0 g (prevalence 6.67%). There was no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05) in the infection of the male and female C. gariepinus. The study highlights the importance of changing feeding habit of C. gariepinus with age on the prevalence and intensity of gastrointestinal parasites, and parasitised male fish have lower condition factor than unparasitised ones.
Key Words: Helminth, parasites, Clarias gariepinus, Zaria.
Journal of Aquatic Sciences Vol.19(2) 2004: 71-76