We developed a rapid effective method for accurate estimation of intensity for the monogenean Lepidotrema bidyana, a gill parasite of silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus. This parasite requires monitoring because high-intensity infections reduce host growth and can lead to secondary bacterial and fungal infections. The most accurate method for counting L. bidyana was visual examination of fresh gills. There was a significant relationship between fish size and parasite intensity; however, there was no significant relationship between fish condition and parasite intensity. Parasite intensity estimates were generated by using the mean intensity of worms on the posterior hemibranch on the first left gill arch, compared to the total mean intensity of worms on all hemibranchs. Estimates were validated by predicting L. bidyana intensity from a random sample of silver perch obtained from aquaculture ponds. Parasite intensity estimates correlated strongly to real counts, and this method can be used to accurately predict parasite intensity on an individual host, and thus represents an improvement over previous methods.
- Bidyanus bidyanus
- Lepidotrema bidyana