Do Shirmp Copepods Infect Fishes?


Premium Member
I will shortly be leaving the US for overseas travel, so I may be slow to respond.

However, the situation is this:
A friend has found (after months, I might add) a cleaner shrimp in the display tank that went through quarantine fine, as did all the specimens, with what appears to be an attached copepod. Something snuck in, somehow.

So many aquarists put their faith into having cleaner shrimps as if they can control fish parasites, but one wonders, what cleans the cleaner shrimp?

Anyway, the question is, what is the likelihood that this shrimp copepod could or would infect/attach itself to marine fishes? Can they reproduce asexually?

I don't know if there is a cross over between inverts and fishes for copepods. Can you provide any thoughts or information on this?

Thanks in advance.

Any chance you could post a picture? Sounds very interesting! Are you sure it's a copepod and not an isopod. I've seen several cases where Bobyridean isopods infect decopod shrimp and I'm inclined to believe that they would not infect fish. My understanding, which is very limited with respect to shrimp parasites, is that with the Bobyrideans the females attach permanently and males (which are much smaller) are attached to the females. They reproduce sexually and larvae that hatch require an intermediate host (usually a calanoid copepod). Hard to say in your case, as there are probably many other possibilities with respect to the species involved.

Not sure if this helps - but may get you started...

I'm unsure if I can get a picture from the friend. Neither he nor I are into digital photos.

You're probably correct. It is most likely an isopod. I wasn't careful with my 'pods.' The shrimp is small (1.0 inches) and the ?pod? is about 1/4 inch.
Last edited: