The biodiversity of invertebrate parasites is an important factor in ecosystem health. This project targets the Norwegian gyrodactylid fauna. This group of ectoparasites of fish and cephalopod molluscs includes the major pathogen Gyrodactylus salaris on salmon and the emerging pathogen Gyrodactylus marinus on cod. Overall the genus Gyrodactylus is poorly known and many species and parasite strains await proper description. This is particularly true for the gyrodactylids on Norwegian marine fishes, where perhaps up to 50 species remain to be catalogued, and several species new to science are to be expected. This project adopts a novel approach, screening the fish collection of the Natural History Museum Oslo that has a comprehensive representation of the Norwegian fish fauna for gyrodactylids. These parasites will then be described using advanced morphometric and molecular approaches. We aim at developing towards a comprehensive picture of the Norwegian gyrodactylid fauna of both freshwater and marine fishes, and expect to add morphometric and molecular descriptions of some 30-50 species (including some new to science) to the Norwegian fauna lists.
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The current project focussed mainly on fish species occurring in Norwegian waters. Particular geografic focus depended on where fish had been collected earlier and deposited in the fish collection of the Natural History Museum Oslo.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [57.21, 1.6], North East [72.03, 36.37]|
The project focused on the Norwegian Gyrodactylus fauna. Gyrodactylus species are monogenean ectoparasite infecting mainly bony fish. In order to screen for the Norwegian Gyrodactylus biodiversity the scientific fish collection of the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo was used. Here, the Norwegian fish fauna is comprehensively represented by hundreds of specimens that were collected over the years. Gyrodactylus salaris was introduced into Norway in the 1970ies and has since caused severe damage in many Norwegian Atlantic salmon stocks. This as attracted great attention, and the gyrodactylid fauna of salmonid host fish has been addressed in many earlier studies. The current project, therefore, focussed mainly on on fish species belonging to other fish families than Salmonidae.