Fish Louse-Argulus spp. (Branchiura)

(Note: Parasitic copepods (caligoids) and various parasitic isopods are also called “fish lice”.)Collected: Just north of St. Augustine, FL where it was found in the water along with fish caught in a beach seine.

Notes: Argulus spp., or “fish lice”, were formerly included with parasitic copepods but are now in the separate group, Branchiura.. Argulus are external parasites on a variety of fishes, but are also common swimmimg in the plankton as they search for hosts or mates. They attach using large ventral suckers.

Collected by: Maia McGuire, Sea Grant Extension Agent, St. Augustine, FL.


ABOVE: Argulus spp. (Branchiura) ventral view of head and suckers


Argulus spp. (Branchiura) ventral view


Photographed by: Maia McGuire using a Digital Blue USB microscope.
Identified by: Dennis Allen, Baruch Marine Lab., University of South Carolina