Parasitic fauna of the spiny eel, Mastacembelus mastacembelus Banks et Solander (Teleostei: Mastacembelidae) in Iran

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of aquatic disease division, School of Veterinary Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Abzigostar Aquatic Clinic, Tehran, Iran

3 National Inland Water Aquaculture Institute, Anzali Lagoon, Iran


The parasite fauna of 50 specimens of spiny eel obtained from two lakes, Zarivar (in Kurdistan province) and Parishan (in Fars province) and one river, Heleh (Booshehr province) were examined during the year 2003. A total of nine parasite species were found. Gills of spiny eel were infected with Ichthyophthirius multifiliis , Trichodina pediculus (protozoa) and Mastacembelocleidus heteranchorus (monogenea).  Argulus foliaceus and an unknown Argulus  species were found on both the skin and gills of the specimens. Adult stages of Lernaea cyprinacea  were observed on the skin and copepodid stage of this parasite observed on the gills (crustacean). An unknown coelozoic cestode, Polyonchobothrium  sp. was recovered from the intestine, Diplostomum spathaceum (metacercaria) from the lens and Contracaecum  sp. from the intestine wall of the infected specimens. Except Contracaecum  sp. (nematoda), which was reported previously, other parasitic species mentioned in this study are reported for the first time from Iran. General prevalence of parasitic infection in specimens obtained from Zarivar lake is also recorded.