The flukes with three hooks. Today we will talk about gill flukes of the genus Trianchoratus, and particularly the species infecting Trichopodus gouramis.
The appearance of Trianchoratus differs considerably from that of the classic gill fluke. Examined under 400 fold magnification, the worms can easily be recognized by the position of the two central anchors of the attachment disc, which face each other to form a pincer, and the perpendicular third anchor which is located in between them. Besides the three big anchor hooks a number of small hooks can be seen around the attachment disc.
Symptoms of Trianchoratus sp. infested gourami are similar to symptoms of other fish which are infested with gill flukes:
- Fish stay near the surface of the water, hovering and gasping for air;
- Fish breathe heavily and fast;
- Gill covers are protruding and the fish are spreading the gills wide open;
- Only one side of the gill cover moves / one sided breathing;
- Fish are under stress, they scurry about the aquarium when somebody approaches;
- Fish refuse to eat and lose weight.
The genus Trichopodus (Trichogaster) or true gourami is mostly known for the marble or three spot gourami (T. trichopterus), the pearl gourami (T. leerii), the snakeskin gourami (T. pectoralis) and the moonlight gourami (T. microlepis) all of which are popular aquarium fish. Due to their hardiness for various water conditions, accepting different kinds of food easily, their peaceful nature and strikingly beautiful coloration they have become very popular aquarium fish for the young and old alike. These strong fish are very forgiving when it comes to not ideal water conditions, making them an excellent beginner fish for children or new hobbyists.
Like most other fish species, gourami have their own, species-specific gill flukes that that can negatively affect their health in case of severe infections. The flukes of the genus Trianchoratus belong to the family of Dactylogyridae, which encompasses most of the gill flukes and consists of dozens of genera and hundreds of species of parasites. So far only three species of gill flukes have been identified in Trichopodus: Trianchoratus trichogasterium, Trianchoratus leerium and Trianchoratus acleithrium. However, according to different studies and scientific data, the Pearl Gourami –Trichopodus leerlii has been found to only host one species of flukes, the gill fluke Trianchoratus leerium, named in honor of the host. Trianchoratus trichogasterium has only been found on the marble gourami Trichopodus trichopterus. However, on the marble gourami, a second species of flukes, Trianchoratus acleithrium, has been recorded, which also parasitizes a related species of gourami, the kissing gourami (Helostoma temminckii).
We recommend the use of eSHa gdex for the control of monogenetic worms in your aquarium. eSHa gdex can also be used to quarantine newly purchased fish.