[Coral-List] Question regarding strange "symptoms" on Curacaoan reef fish

Mark J A Vermeij vermeij at hawaii.edu
Tue Feb 7 12:33:56 EST 2012

Dear all

Recently a large number of fish species has been observed carrying signs  of what could be a disease. Two types have been observed and  herbivorous fish seem most affected. The first "disease" was  historically observed on surgeonfish (A. bahianus), but is now  also occurring on several species of grunts and hamlets. Individuals  affected are covered by dark, round patches, usually dark grey/ black in  color, that can occur all over their body. Examples of this "disease"  are shown  in the first two pictures on the link mentioned below. 

In addition to this "dark  spot disease", many other species (including foremost various parrotfish  species, but also cowfish, goatfish) have been observed covered by  white specks that occur predominantly on the fins of these species, but also on their  bodies. Pictures of this "white dot disease" are shown in pictures 3 to 6  in the link mentioned below. The last picture shows a redband parrotfish (S. aurofrenatum)  where these dots have multiple colors ranging from white to brown to  black. In some locations, none of these "diseases" is observed, but in  others nearly 30% of the fish are seen carrying signs of either  "disease". This to the best of my knowledge has not been observed  earlier on Curacao.

Pictures can be found at: http://www.researchstationcarmabi.org/    and then click the first item under "latest news"
 Any insight as to what is going on here is greatly welcomed. Suggestions and ideas can be send to Mark Vermeij at  carmabilog at gmail.com

Best regards and thanks in advance for your comments/ suggestions


Dr. M.J.A. Vermeij
Science Director Carmabi Foundation
Piscaderabaai z/n
Web: http://www.researchstationcarmabi.org/

Assistant professor
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 700
1098 XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Web: http://www.science.uva.nl/ibed/home.cfm

More information about the Coral-List mailing list