A Comparative Study of the Common Protozoan Parasites of Heterobranchus longifilis from the Wild and Cultured Environments in Benue State
S. Omeji, S.G. Solomon and R.A. Obande
The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the parasite load in populations of Heterobranchus longifilis obtained from a cultured environment (pond) and wild habitats. One hundred and twenty fishes were used for the study; 60 each from the cultured environment and wild which were further divided into 30 dead and 30 live fishes for each of the habitat sources. The results showed that 80% of dead H. longifilis from the pond were infested, as against 73.3% of the dead fishes from the wild by different protozoan parasites. Also, 83.3% of live H. longifilis from the pond were infested, as against 90% of the live fishes from the wild. Of the various protozoan parasites observed, I. mutifilis was the most abundant in both the pond (37.41%) and wild (36.40%). Among the body parts of the sampled fishes from the pond, the gills had the highest parasite load (46%). Also, the gills had the highest parasite load (44%) among the body parts of the fishes sampled from the wild. Live fishes from both sources had more protozoan parasites than the dead fishes. Bigger fishes of total length between 25-48 cm were more infected than smaller fishes of total length between 19-24 cm from both sources. Female fishes had more protozoan parasites than the male counterparts. Also, fishes between 150-750 g had more parasite load than the smaller ones of less than 150 g.