Diel variation in egg-laying by the freshwater fish louse Argulus foliaceus (Crustacea : Branchiura)

Andrew Harrison, Norman Gault, J.T.A. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Removal of deposited eggs could be a useful control strategy for the damaging fish ectoparasite Argulus foliaceus, but focused control requires knowledge of egg-laying patterns. Here, we investigated diel changes in the egg-laying behaviour of a natural population of A. foliaceus. Data were collected from 17-28 May 2004. Days were divided into 3 time periods: 06:00-14:00, 14:00-22:00 and 22:00-06:00 h. Significantly more egg clutches were laid from 06:00-14:00 h than during the other 2 time periods, which were not significantly different from each other. Significantly more egg clutches per hour were laid during hours of daylight as compared to hours of darkness. Significantly more egg clutches were laid in the top 1 m of the water column than at the bottom, and this was consistent throughout all 3 time periods. It is suggested that the increase in egg-laying activity during daylight hours may be due to a higher motivation to search for hosts during the night and an increased ability to locate silhouetted egg-laying sites during the day. These data can provide information useful for egg removal and control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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