Photo of the Week- Bothriocephalus acheilognathi

Josie Pegg, Faculty of Science & Technology

In this next ‘Photo of the Week’ we will be looking at research investigating and predicting the impacts of non-native fish parasites, from the hosts to ecosystems. This research is being carried out by BU’s Josie Pegg.

Almost all living things have parasites. When species are moved from their natural habitat and introduced into a new habitat, they often bring their parasites with them. Some of these parasites will be lost, but some may be transferred to new hosts. Josie’s research focuses on the impact of non-native parasites on native fish species in the UK.

The effect of parasitic infection varies between species and individuals. Parasitism may cause pathological damage and modifications to host behaviour, fitness and energetics. Josie’s research uses stable isotope analysis and food web topology to investigate if, and how, infection by non-native parasites alters naïve fishes’ feeding behaviour and the consequences for the host and the aquatic food web.

This image is a stained histological section of the gut of a small carp with the ‘Asian tapeworm’ Bothriocephalus acheilognathi attached inside it.

For more information about the project, email Josie for further details

This was an entry to BU’s first research photography competition and the entries for the next competition will be open shortly. For more details about the competition, please email


Pegg J., Andreou D, Williams C.F. and Britton J.R. (2015) Temporal changes in growth, condition and trophic niche in juvenile Cyprinus carpio infected with a non-native parasite. Parasitology 142(13), 1579-1587

You can view her paper here