Documentation of cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) cleaning behaviour in tanks with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis): Fs97-6/3168E-PDF

The delousing efficiency of cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) against Lepeophtheirus salmonis infecting Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is documented in a tank study through the assessment of cunner behavioural responses. Lice counts are reduced by 89.3% in salmon smolts after 78 hours residence with cunners (2 tanks; cunner to salmon ratio of 1:10); as compared to the control tank without cunners that did not show a significant reduction of lice over the same time period (p=0.275). Video data show a significant increase of cunner activity (salmon chasing, and lice picking) with cohabitation time with salmon. This study confirms the lice cleaning efficiency of cunner through the documentation of behavioural responses in a tank study. Findings suggest that cleaning is likely an opportunistic behaviour not occurring naturally in cunner, but easily acquired through cohabitation with salmon.

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Department/Agency Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Title Documentation of cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) cleaning behaviour in tanks with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)
Series Title Canadian technical report of fisheries and aquatic sciences,
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Format Electronic
Electronic Document

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Date c2016.
Number of Pages vi, 11 p. :
ISBN 978-0-660-05605-0
Catalogue Number
  • Fs97-6/3168E-PDF
Subject Terms Salt water fish, Parasites