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LEPEOPHTHEIRUS SALMONIS

Definition

Caligid copepod, ectoparasite of marine fish with high host specificity, often referred to as the sea louse or the salmon louse. The parasite is frequently found on European and North American salmon farms causing substantial fish health and mortality problems which can only be controlled by either biological (cleaner fish) or chemical treatment methods In combination with appropriate husbandry. Pathogenic effects are due to the mode of feeding by adults on fish. Tissue from the host fish is scraped off by movement of a mouth part containing about 100 fine, sharp teeth. Health problems and death often result from secondary infections. It is generally assumed that 2-3 pre-adults can kill a smolt, 20 plus will kill a 2kg salmon, and 40-50 can kill broodstock.

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