𝗟𝗲𝘁’𝘀 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗸𝗲𝘀: 𝗚𝘆𝗿𝗼𝗱𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘆𝗹𝘂𝘀 𝘀𝗽.
This week we will talk about worms of the genus Gyrodactylus. This genus belongs to the class of Monogenea, and they parasitize the skin of fish. There are more than 500 species of this genus known to science!
Gyrodactylus sp. are viviparous (live-bearing) worms with a direct developmental cycle (which means they need no other host) that can rapidly build up their population in an aquarium or pond and cause the deterioration or even death of fish. They are especially dangerous for juveniles and small fish, such as guppies and swordtails. The worm’s hooks on its attachment disc can deeply irritate the skins epithelium, leading to scratching against decorative items or the bottom of the tank and finally to apathy. Infected goldfish develop a vascular mesh on the fins and sometimes have fin erosion. From time to time fish will even try to jump out of the water. Skin flukes are almost impossible to see with the naked eye, but with the aid of a magnifying glass these worms can be seen on the body of the fish.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed one should begin an appropriate treatment. We recommend to use eSHa gdex in the fight against skin flukes. eSHa gdex will also help against gill flukes and tapeworms, which we will discuss in a future post, so stay tuned!