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Helminth parasites of native Hawaiian freshwater fishes: an example of extreme ecological isolation.
The Hawaiian Islands harbor a depauperate native freshwater fish fauna comprised of 4 endemic gobies (Gobiidae) and 1 endemic sleeper (Eleotridae). We hypothesized that the natural helminth parasite community of these stream fishes would be depauperate because of colonizing constraints. In the absence of exotic fishes, native fishes in streams of Hanakapi'ai and Nu'alolo valleys harbored no adult helminth parasites. In Hakalau Stream on Hawai'i and Wainiha River on Kaua'i, we found introduced swordtails and guppies (Poeciliidae); here, the native gobioid fishes shared species of helminths with poeciliids. They were the nematode Camallanus cotti, the Asian tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, and the leech Myzobdella lugubris. Such parasitological data should be incorporated into management plans for the conservation of native Hawaiian stream fishes as these parasites have been previously demonstrated to cause disease.
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't