Double blow: Alien crayfish infected with invasive temnocephalan in South African waters

Authors

  • Louis du Preez Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, Subject area Zoology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Nico Smit Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, Subject area Zoology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1590/sajs.2013/20130109

Keywords:

alien crayfish, aquatic health, South Africa, Cherax quadricarinatus, Diceratocephala boshmai

Abstract

Trade in live, freshwater crayfish for ornamental markets, as well as for aquaculture, has grown rapidly and has become the major pathway for the introduction of non-indigenous crayfish species to several countries worldwide. Here we report on the first record of the Australian ‘redclaw’ Cherax quadracarinatus in the natural waters of a game reserve in South Africa. To compound the situation, these redclaw crayfish were infected with a non-indigenous temnocephalan flatworm parasite. Both crayfish and temnocephalan were in full breeding condition, with young. Further spreading of this crayfish to the subtropical, water-rich, northern KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa and southern Mozambique is predicted. Not only might the crayfish compete with indigenous aquatic invertebrates but the non-host-specific temnocephalan might transfer to local decapods, such as freshwater crabs.

Published

2013-09-20

How to Cite

du Preez, L., & Smit, N. (2013). Double blow: Alien crayfish infected with invasive temnocephalan in South African waters. South African Journal of Science, 109(9/10), 4. https://doi.org/10.1590/sajs.2013/20130109

Issue

Section

Research Letter