Overview

Brief Summary

New York State Invasive Species

Fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi) known in North America as the “fishhook water flea,” is an aggressive, predatory zooplankton that preys on smaller zooplankton. It belongs to the same family as Bythotrephes (Cercopagididae), and, like Bythotrephes, has a long caudal process (“tail”) with up to three pairs of barbs near its end. Also like Bythotrephes, Cercopagis is a native of the Ponto-Caspian region of eastern Europe/western Asia (the area of the Caspian, Azov, and Aral seas). As with the spiny water flea, the fishhook water flea is believed to be an international shipping ballast water introduction.

Since its first discovery in Lake Ontario in August 1998, copagis spread inland to six of New York’s Finger Lakes (Seneca, Cayuga, Otisco, Canandaigua, Owasco and Keuka) within a year, possibly on fishery sampling gear, in bait buckets, or on recreational angling equipment. In these inland lakes, Cercopagis now dominates the offshore zooplankton community during the summer and fall. This species has also been found in Grand Traverse Bay and southern Lake Michigan and in western Lake Erie and the Detroit River. It is expected to spread throughout the Great Lakes by means of currents, inter- and intra-lake ballast transfers and recreational boating and angling. The fishhook water flea, like the spiny water flea, fouls fishing lines, down rigger cables and fish nets, in many cases to an extent that anglers have had to cut their lines and lose fish because of reel clogging. The species’ length, including body and spine, can exceed 1 cm.

The species has been observed at densities of 170 to 600 individuals per square meter. In addition to sexual reproduction, Cercopagis most commonly reproduce parthenogenically (asexually), which allows them to quickly establish new populations with a relatively small seed population without the need for a large number of the smaller males along with females. Eggs produced in the early part of the season are delicate and very susceptible to damage, with low recruitment rates. Later in the season, as surface water temperatures decline, Cercopagis females produce over-wintering or resting eggs (the species is also known to produce resting eggs anytime during the year when environmental conditions become inhospitable). Such resting eggs can successfully overwinter in an inactive state and replenish the population after hatching in the spring. Resting eggs are also resistant to desiccation, freeze-drying and ingestion by predators (such as other fish). They can be easily transported to other drainage basins by various vectors, particularly if they are still in the female’s body (the barbed caudal spine allows attachment to ropes, fishing lines, waterfowl feathers, aquatic gear, vegetation and mud). Resting eggs can hatch regardless of whether the carrier female is alive or dead.

It is unknown what the future impacts of Cercopagis are going to be. It is possible that the high population densities of the species will create significant predation pressure on smaller cladocerans to impact the size and composition of native phytoplankton communities. Furthermore, Cercopagis may compete with native young- of-the-year fish populations for small prey. It is also possible that the species may become prey itself for larger fish. It is not known, therefore, whether Cercopagis will ultimately be an energetic source or sink in the Great Lakes.

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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 31 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 11 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 3.75 - 20
  Temperature range (°C): 6.108 - 8.813
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.311 - 4.154
  Salinity (PPS): 6.043 - 6.494
  Oxygen (ml/l): 7.982 - 8.496
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.195 - 0.296
  Silicate (umol/l): 6.763 - 15.133

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 3.75 - 20

Temperature range (°C): 6.108 - 8.813

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.311 - 4.154

Salinity (PPS): 6.043 - 6.494

Oxygen (ml/l): 7.982 - 8.496

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.195 - 0.296

Silicate (umol/l): 6.763 - 15.133
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cercopagis pengoi

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGAATCTGAGCTGGAATAGTGGGAACTGCTTTAAGTATGCTAATTCGTGCTGAATTAGGTCAAGCAGGAAGACTAATTGGGGATGATCAGATCTACAATGTAGTAGTAACAGCCCACGCTTTCATTATAATTTTCTTCATGGTAATACCAGTAATAATTGGAGGTTTTGGAAATTGACTTGTCCCTCTGATGGTAGGGGCCCCTGATATGGCTTTCCCTCGACTTAATAATCTTAGTTTCTGATTCCTTCCCCCTGCTTTAACTCTACTTCTAGTTGGAGGTGCAGTAGAAAGAGGGGCAGGGACTGGATGGACAGTGTACCCCCCTCTTTCAGCTGGTATCGCACATGCTGGAGCATCAGTAGATTTAAGTATTTTCTCCCTTCACTTGGCTGGGATCTCTTCTATTTTAGGAGCTATTAACTTCATTACTACTATCGTAAATATACGATCTCAAGGTATAACTTTAGACCGACTACCGTTATTTGTTTGAGCTGTTGGAATCACAGCCTTACTTCTTCTATTAAGTCTACCTGTTTTAGCAGGAGCAATTACAATACTGCTTACAGATCGAAATTTAAACACATCGTTCTTTGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGAGATCCTATTCTGTATCAACATCTATTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cercopagis pengoi

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 18
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Cercopagis pengoi

Cercopagis pengoi, or the fishhook waterflea, is a species of planktonic cladoceran crustacean that is native in the brackish fringes of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.[2] In recent decades it has spread as an invasive species to some freshwater waterways and reservoirs of Eastern Europe and to the brackish Baltic Sea. Further it was introduced in ballast water to the Great Lakes of North America and a number of adjacent lakes, and has become a pest classified among the 100 worst invasive species of the world.[2]

Cercopagis pengoi is a predatory cladoceran and thus a competitor to other planktivorous invertebrates and smaller fishes. On the other hand it has provided a new food source for planktivorous fishes. It is also a nuisance to fisheries as it tends to clog nets and fishing gear.[3]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "Cercopagis pengoi". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ a b "Cercopagis pengoi". 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Species. November 28, 2006. 
  3. ^ Birnbaum, C. (2006): Cercopagis pengoi. NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet.
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