The piscicolid leech Austrobdella translucens was found on a single specimen of the eastern Australian salmon, Arripis trutta, and 22% of specimens of yellowfin whiting, Sillago schomburgkii, in Port Lincoln, South Australia between August-September 2004. In 2005, the number of yellowfin whiting parasitized by the leech increased to 71%. The appearance of this large, conspicuous ectoparasite is intriguing because it was thought to be an exclusive parasite of three closely-related species of inshore sillaginid fishes (the ‘sand whitings’, S. schomburgkii in Western Australia, S. analis in Queensland, and S. ciliata in Queensland and New South Wales), and also to be endemic to marine waters of tropical Australia (to as far south as the Shoalhaven River, south of Sydney). Up to 8 leeches were found on specimens of yellowfin whiting, covering most of the surface of their tail fins. Austrobdella translucens has been associated with mortalities of pond held whiting, and its appearance in temperate waters of South Australia on a non-sillaginid is potentially concerning because of the high concentration of cagebased finfish aquaculture. The taxonomy of leeches based on morphological features is difficult, and molecular analyses are needed to confirm the taxonomic affinity and origin of the piscicolid leech reported here.

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