Asian Tapeworm Dynamics in Mohave Tui Chub in Lake Tuendae, California
September 2002 to December 2007
Asian tapeworm is a potentially dangerous introduced fish parasite found in many southwestern fishes in the family Cyprinidae. We used praziquantel as a non-lethal method to monitor Asian tapeworm populations in Lake Tuendae, Zzyzx, California in federally endangered Mohave tui chub, and examined temperature as a cause of non-detections. We found a significant positive relationship between increasing water temperature and increasing prevalence, mean abundance, and mean intensity. Non-detections were caused by small sample size and low infection rates, or not allowing sufficient gut evacuation time, although praziquantel is still effective even at low temperatures. Additional stressors to fish (handling, marking, transport, habitat modifications) should be avoided during summer months when water temperature and Asian tapeworm prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance peak. Field work on this project concluded summer 2007. A final report was completed in 2008, and results are currently being prepared for publication.