Capillaria pterophylli

This week we take a closer look at the nematode worm Capillaria pterophylli, a highly pathogenic fish parasite. The presence of Capillaria in the intestine often leads to malnutrition of the host (the fish), which results in weight loss, a decrease in resistance to both infections and adverse environmental conditions, but also causes mass mortality of fish. All fish species in an aquarium can be infected with Capillaria, but the problem is most acute for discus, angelfish (altum, scalare), catfish and live bearing fish (guppies, swordtails, platies).

Sexually mature female Capillaria can reach 17 mm in length, despite their length, they are very thin and difficult to see with the naked eye. The females produce eggs throughout the year. Capillaria eggs, along with fish feces, enter the water. Worm larvae develop inside the eggs, the development stage lasts 33 days. Fish become infected directly by either ingesting eggs or by ingesting intermediate or paratenic hosts, such as oligochaete worms.

The prepatent period (the period when the parasite has invaded the host but the parasite is not sexually mature) for this nematode is at least 3 months at a water temperature of 20-23°C, when the water temperature is increased, this period may slightly decrease. About 3 months pass from the moment a fish swallows an egg with a developing larva until the worm reaches a sexually mature state. eSHa -ndx will help to fight capillariasis in fish, but do not forget to take into account the life cycle and timing of the development of the worm and repeat the treatment every 2 weeks for a total of 4 times!


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