The marine leech, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis, is a major threat to aquaculture in grouper-producing countries including Indonesia. This study aimed at investigating prevalence, intensity and histopathology of the ectoparasite in humpback and hybrid groupers cultured in different rearing systems. A total of 260 groupers (60 humpback groupers and 200 hybrid groupers) were used for samples. The marine leech was observed on skin, fins, gills and mouth, followed by histopathological assay on the skin tissue. The results showed that prevalence of the leech in both groupers was higher when they were cultured in the floating net cages compared with the hatchery, p <.05. Furthermore, humpback grouper had a higher prevalence than hybrid grouper when they were cultured in a similar system, p <.05. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference in intensity between the two groupers, p >.05. Within the hybrid groupers, the highest prevalence was obtained from hybrid groupers reared in the earthen ponds. Histopathological studies showed that the infected groupers exhibited inflammation, congestion and erosion of the epidermis layer. Hybrid grouper had more severe histopathological lesions in the skin tissues. These results suggested that species and type of aquaculture system had significantly determined the prevalence, intensity and severity of lesion in Z. arugamensis infestation.
- fish disease