On 2 December 2006, a heavy infestation of the parasitic hyperiid amphipods Hyperia medusarum and Lestrigonus shoemakeri was discovered in the sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium. Pretreatment trials that exposed moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) and sea nettles to therapeutic levels of diflubenzuron confirmed that the treatment would be tolerated by these species of jellyfish. The exhibit tank was dosed with a 0.03 mg/L concentration of diflubenzuron for 7 days, after which the medication was removed by filtration. An arbitrarily chosen subset from the sea nettle exhibit was sampled regularly over the next 8 wk to monitor the parasite population. The average number of amphipods per jellyfish sampled decreased throughout the treatment and sampling period. No live amphipods were observed 6 wk after the start of treatment, and no negative side effects were observed in the sea nettles. The use of diflubenzuron to eradicate hyperiid parasites from scyphomedusae is a safe and useful option when properly applied in a controlled environment.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1