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Wińôcaszek B., Keszka S., Sobecka E., Boeger W.A. 2009. Asian pangasiids—an emerging problem for European inland waters? Systematic and parasitological aspects. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 39 (2): 131–138.

Background. Asian pangasiids (Actinopterygii: Siluriformes: Pangasiidae), commonly referred to as “panga”, have recently became an important item on the European fish markets. The fish are currently imported from south-east Asia but the growing consumers’ demand is likely to motivate European fish growers to culture the “panga” locally. This in turn could bring about unforeseeable consequences for the aquatic environment. The presently reported study provides the first record of a pangasiid fish (two specimens) from the European natural waters. We attempted to identify the fish through complex morphometric procedures and to study all their parasites, thus determining their potential threat for the environment.

Materials and methods. Two specimens of pangasiid fish were captured in a pond, in the city of Szczecin, Poland. The fish were examined following procedures commonly accepted in morphological studies yielding detailed measurements. The key structures were described and illustrated (e.g., the shape of dentition on both the vomerine and palatine plates). The measurements were taken with an electronic calliper and a dissecting microscope (Nikon SMZ 1000), coupled with the Lucia Measurement System. Additionally, during necropsy, selected organs were checked for the presence of parasites.

Results. One of the fish specimens hosted the monogenoid parasite, Thaparocleidus caecus, that has never been found in Europe. Metric and meristic characters of fish studied, as well as the presence of monogenoid T. caecus suggest that the fish found were representatives of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, however, some features, especially those related to the ratio between fins and body or total length, differ markedly from the species description. Comparative analysis suggested that the two specimens collected in Szczecin are hybrids, most likely of P. hypophthalmus with other species, of unknown origin, presumably imported from Thailand.

Conclusion. The specific identity of pangasiids imported alive to Europe should be monitored in the future. Additional genetic studies are needed. The monogenoid parasite found on the fish studied poses no threat to the native ichthyofauna (because of its very narrow host-specificity).

Keywords: invasive species, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, Pangasius bocourti, Monogenoidea, hybrids, parasite, Thaparocleidus caecus, Poland

 





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DOI: 10.3750/AIP2009.39.2.08

© 2005 The West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin | Last modification:  2017-04-25