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Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária

Print version ISSN 0103-846XOn-line version ISSN 1984-2961

Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet. vol.28 no.4 Jaboticabal Oct./Dec. 2019  Epub June 13, 2019 

Short Communication

First report of Artystone trysibia (Isopoda: Cymothoidae) in Caquetaia spectabilis (Cichliformes: Cichlidae)

Primeiro relato de Artystone trysibia (Isopoda: Cymothoidae) em Caquetaia spectabilis (Cichliformes: Cichlidae)

Marcos Sidney Brito Oliveira1  *

Pedro Hugo Esteves-Silva2 

Marcelo Costa Andrade3

Marcos Tavares-Dias1  4

1Programa de Pós-graduação em Biodiversidade Tropical – PPGBIO, Universidade Federal do Amapá – UNIFAP, Macapá, AP, Brasil

2Universidade Federal do Amapá – UNIFAP, Macapá, AP, Brasil

3Laboratório de Ictiologia do Grupo de Ecologia Aquática, Universidade Federal do Pará – UFPA, Belém, PA, Brasil

4Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária – Embrapa Amapá, Macapá, AP, Brasil


The present study provides the first record of an isopod parasite (Artystone trysibia) on Caquetaia spectabilis, a cichlid from the eastern Amazon collected in the State of Amapá, northern Brazil. In May 2018, specimens of C. spectabilis were collected in the lower Jari River, and 33.3% were parasitized by A. trysibia on the tegument tissue between pelvic fins. No hemorrhage or injury signals were observed in the tegument of the host. This study also expanded the distribution of A. trysibia to the eastern Amazon.

Keywords:  Freshwater fish; isopod; Jari river; parasitism; tegmental hole


O presente estudo fornece o primeiro registro de um isópode parasito (Artystone trysibia) em Caquetaia spectabilis, um ciclídeo da Amazônia coletado no estado do Amapá, norte do Brasil. Em maio de 2018, espécimes de C. spectabilis foram coletados no baixo Rio Jari e 33,3% estavam parasitados por A. trysibia dentro do orifício tegumentar localizado na região ventral, entre as nadadeiras pélvicas de C. spectabilis. Nenhuma hemorragia ou lesões foram observadas no tegumento dos hospedeiros. Este estudo amplia a distribuição de A. trysibia para a Amazônia oriental.

Palavras-chave:  Peixe de água doce; isópode; Rio Jari; parasitismo; orifício tegumentar

Crustaceans of the family Cymothoidae Leach, 1818 are obligatory parasite isopods with direct life cycle and are found parasitizing both marine and freshwater fish (TAVARES-DIAS et al., 2015; OLIVEIRA et al., 2017a). These parasites can be found over the tegument, abdominal cavity, gills or in the buccopharyngeal area of the host, but this may vary according to the parasite species or the host species (SMIT et al., 2014; TAVARES-DIAS et al., 2015). However, isopods of the genera Artystone Schioedte, 1866 and Riggia Szidat, 1948 are tegument punchers of hosts (HUIZINGA, 1972; THATCHER, 2006; ODA et al., 2015).

The genus Artystone is composed of three species, all originally described parasitizing South American fish, i.e., Artystone bolivianensis Thatcher & Schindler, 1999; Artystone minima Thatcher & Carvalho, 1988 and Artystone trysibia Schioedte, 1866. These species of isopds are recognized by their high pathogenicity, since they penetrate in the host tegument to feed and to live (HUIZINGA, 1972; THATCHER, 2006). Records of the A. trysibia, a cymothoid originally described of a single female specimen collected in the Plata River (Argentina), are more frequent in Cichliformes fish species, but there are also reports of infestation in siluriforms fish species (JUNOY, 2016). This study makes the first record of A. trysibia parasitizing Caquetaia spectabilis Steindachner, 1875, a cichlid from the Amazon River basin, in Brazil.

Specimens of C. spectabilis were collected in May 2018 in the lower Jari River (1°9’19.3”S; 51°59’9.3”W), near to the Jarilândia village, Municipality of Laranjal do Jari, in the State of Amapá, northern Brazil (Figure 1). Fish collected using gillnets (25 m long, 1.5 deep, 30 mm between knots) were measured for total length (cm) and weighed (g). Parasitized fish specimens were euthanized in clove oil solution (10%), while the non-parasitized fish were returned to the river. Parasites found were maintained in ethanol solution (70%) during 24 h, and then preserved in alcohol (70%) and glycerin (10%), for analysis. Host and parasite were identified at the higher taxonomic level according to specific literature (THATCHER, 2006; JUNOY, 2016; QUEIROZ et al., 2013). Specimen of A. trysibia was measured on length and width, and dissected in order to get an accurate comparison of morphological features. Mouthparts and appendages were carefully dissected for identification (THATCHER, 2006; JUNOY, 2016).

Figure 1 Site of study in the lower Jari River basin, between states of Amapá and Pará, in eastern Amazon, northern Brazil. 

Three specimens of C. spectabilis, measuring 18.6 ± 0.8 cm and 251.7 ± 28.4 g (Figure 2AB) were collected, from those only one specimen was parasitized (33.3%) by one specimen of A. trysibia (Figure 2CG) found inside the tegument between the pelvic fins of the host (Figure 2B). The tegument damage showed a hole about 5 mm diameter and 25 mm deep forming a capsule (Figure 2B). No hemorrhage or internal organ injuries were detected macroscopically in the host.

Figure 2 Caquetaia spectabilis from the eastern Amazon, in Brazil (A). Tegumentar orifice between pelvic fins area of Caquetaia spectabilis caused by Artystone trysibia (B). Artystone trysibia in views dorsal (C), ventral (D), lateral (E), frontal (F) and back (G). 

For the Jari River basin, left-bank tributary of the lower Amazon River has been a total of 11 species of crustaceans parasitizing fish are known (see OLIVEIRA et al., 2017a, b; GONÇALVES et al., 2018). However, this is the first record of A. trysibia for fish of this basin.

Species of Artystone are known for perforating the tegument of hosts (HUIZINGA, 1972; THATCHER & SCHINDLER, 1999; JUNOY, 2016). This perforation causes hemorrhages by mechanical mutilation, in addition to necrosis and might cause organ injuries such as the eye loss (HUIZINGA, 1972). However, the penetration of A. trysibia in the tegument of C. spectabilis did not cause hemorrhage or injury signals in host of this study.

The present study contributes with: (i) distribution expansion of A. trysibia to the Jari River basin, in eastern Amazon and (ii) the first report of the occurrence of A. trysibia in C. spectabilis.


We would like to thank for research grant from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (# 303013/2015-0) for Marcos Tavares-Dias and to the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for granting the Ph.D. Scholarship Grant for Marcos S.B. Oliveira.


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Received: February 05, 2019; Accepted: April 11, 2019

*Corresponding author: Marcos Sidney Brito Oliveira. Universidade Federal do Amapá – UNIFAP, Rodovia Juscelino Kubitschek, Km 2, Jardim Marco Zero, CEP 68903-419, Macapá, AP, Brasil. e-mail:

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