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Macroscopic Lesions on the Grey Triggerfish, Balistes Capriscus (Pisces) Associated with the Presence of the Pedunculate Barnacle, Conchoderma Virgatum (Cirripedia, Thoracica)

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Fifteen live specimens of Conchoderma virgatum were attached to a grey triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) caught in S.W. Portugal. The barnacles were distributed in three groups (right abdominal external face, anterior side of the insertion of the pelvic spine, and close to (5 mm) the left eye (on the lacrymal bone)). The specimens were very different in size, ranging from 2 mm to 18.9 mm (maximum capitular length, CL).

The four largest barnacles (CL ≥ 16.4 mm) had egg lamellae. Signs of potential predation on the barnacles (rests of barnacles and half-cut cirri in a barnacle) were detected. The left-eye blindness of the grey trigger fish could have been caused by traumatic action performed by the barnacles that settled close to the eye. The skin surrounding the barnacle cluster attached to the right abdominal external face was inflamed. Skin lesions were of sub-acute or chronic nature and the gall-bladder dilatation was consistent with a prolonged status of injury. Both traumatic and inflammatory lesions could have contributed to the loss of body condition of the grey triggerfish. This study is the first report of C. virgatum in S.W. Portugal and the first record of attachment to a grey triggerfish. Foram observados quinze exemplares de Conchoderma virgatum fixos num pampo (Balistes capriscus) capturado na costa SW de Portugal continental. Os cirrípedes encontravam-se distribuídos em três grupos (face abdominal externa direita, face anterior da inserção da barbatana pélvica e próximo (5 mm) do olho esquerdo (no osso lacrimal)). Os espécimes eram muito diferentes em tamanho, variando de 2 mm a 18,9 mm (comprimento máximo do capitulum, CL). Os quatro exemplares maiores (CL ≥ 16,4 mm) tinham lamela de ovos. Foram observados presumíveis sinais de predação sobre os cirrípedes (restos de C. virgatum e cirros cortados). A cegueira do olho esquerdo do pampo pode ter sido causada pela acção traumática dos cirrípedes localizados próximos deste olho. A pele envolvente do aglomerado de cirrípedes localizado na face abdominal externa direita estava inflamada. As lesões da pele eram de natureza sub-aguda ou crónica e a dilatação da vesicula biliar era consistente com um estado prolongado de doença. Ambas as lesões, traumática e inflamatória podem ter contribuído para a perda de condição corporal do pampo. Este estudo é o primeiro registo de C. virgatum em Portugal continental e também o primeiro registo da sua fixação num pampo.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratório de Patologia dos Animais Aquáticos, Instituto Nacional dos Recursos Biológicos, I.P.-IPIMAR, Avenida de Brasília, P-449-006 Lisbon, Portugal;, Email:; 2: Laboratório de Patologia dos Animais Aquáticos, Instituto Nacional dos Recursos Biológicos, I.P.-IPIMAR, Avenida de Brasília, P-449-006 Lisbon, Portugal; 3: Associação de Mariscadores da Costa Vicentina e Sudoeste Alentejano Aljezur, Apartado 1008, P-8670-909 Aljezur, Portugal; 4: Departamento de Biologia & Laboratório de Ciências do Mar, Universidade de Évora, Apartado 190, P-7520-903 Sines, Portugal, Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, P-1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal


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