UMT has been carrying out regular field studies of the fish parasites of Kenyir since 2006. Field courses are held every year to introduce students to all aspects of parasitology, from sample collection to dissection and microscopy. These classes have added to UMTs substantial database of known parasites in the region and further our knowledge of their ecology.

Parasitology students at work

Several research projects have made the fish parasites of kenyir their focus. Székely et al. (2009) discovered several species of myxosporean from fish species caught in Kenyir noting that these species could pose a threat to intensified aquaculture. See full paper here.

In a recent study looking at cestode parasites in snakehead (Channa micropeltes), Tran Thi Yen Nhi found that heavy metal loads within the tissues of the parasite were generally much greater than the concentrations accumulated in the tissues of the host fish, suggesting that these parasites would make good sentinel organisms for monitoring metal levels in the lake. See full paper here.

Over the period 2009-2012, Bako Mallam Modu (unpublished) studied the effects of water quality on gill monogenean infection of two species: Hampala macrolepidota and Hemibagrus nemerus. Water quality (e.g. temperature, dissolved oxygen) was found to significantly influence the prevalence of infection in the two species highlighting an important potential consequence of water quality deterioration in the lake. During the course of this study, a new species of monogenean (D. Terengganusis) was also found in H. Macrolepidota and described in two tributaries of the lake: Sungai Kiang and Sungai Tanjung Mentong. See full paper here.

Argulus being collected from Channa micropeltes

The knowledge acquired from these studies has been compiled into a book: Fish Parasites of Lake Kenyir, Peninsular Malaysia By Prof. Faizah Shaharom. Preview available here.

For a guide to some of the fish parasites of Kenyir click here.