US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 61, No. 2, April 1975, p. 217-223


Tetrahymena corlissi, a free-living protozoan, apparently caused the death of large numbers of guppies (Poecilia reticulatus) and occasionally other fishes, in aquaria and hatcheries at several locations. Apparently the disease occurs when the fish and protozoan populations are both at a high level of density. The signs include white spots and epidermal damage. Histologically, T. corlissi could be seen in skin, muscle, and viscera; in some there was marked inflammation, in others there was little tissue reaction. A key is presented for the identification of invasive fish ciliates: Chilodonella, Hemiophrys, Ichthyophthirius, Ophryoglena, and Tetrahymena.