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Fish Lice: Branchiura

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Fish Louse (argulus Foliaceus): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, FISH LICE AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

FISH LOUSE (Argulus foliaceus): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Fish lice are found in freshwater habitats on all continents.


Fish lice parasitize freshwater fishes. A few species attack fish living along the coast or in estuaries, but they are never found out in the open sea. They are sometimes found on amphibians.


Fish lice eat the skin and blood of their host.


Fish lice are important pests in fish culture facilities. They usually occur in freshwater facilities, but occasionally infest marine fish farms. Aquarium fish may be killed by infestations of fish lice.


No species of fish lice is considered threatened or endangered.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species