Nico J Smit

Nico J Smit
North-West University | NWU ·  Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management

PhD

About

361
Publications
87,394
Reads
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3,355
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2004 - March 2011
University of Johannesburg
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2003 - December 2003
University of Cape Town
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Claude Leon Harris Foundation postdoctoral scholarship. Supervisor Prof Charles Griffiths.
February 2001 - December 2002
Kingston University
Position
  • University Post Doctoral Fellow

Publications

Publications (361)
Article
Full-text available
Of the 95 known families of Isopoda only a few are parasitic namely, Bopyridae, Cryptoniscidae, Cymothoidae, Dajidae, Entoniscidae, Gnathiidae and Tridentellidae. Representatives from the family Cymothoidae are obligate parasites of both marine and freshwater fishes and there are currently 40 recognised cymothoid genera worldwide. These isopods are...
Article
Aquatic wildlife is increasingly subjected to emerging diseases often due to perturbations of the existing dynamic balance between hosts and their parasites. Accelerating changes in environmental factors, together with anthropogenic translocation of hosts and parasites, act synergistically to produce hard-to-predict disease outcomes in freshwater a...
Article
Full-text available
Parasite attachment structures are critical traits that influence effective host exploitation and survival. Morphology of attachment structures can reinforce host specificity and niche specialisation, or even enable host switching. Therefore, it is important to understand the determinants of variation in attachment structures. Cymothoid isopods are...
Article
Full-text available
Bambalocra intwalagen. et sp. nov . is described from Sodwana Bay, north-eastern South Africa. The monotypic genus is characterised by the broadly truncate anterior margin of the head with a ventral rostrum, coxae 2–5 being ventral in position not forming part of the body outline and not or barely visible in dorsal view, and the posterolateral marg...
Book
This book offers the first comprehensive review of parasitic Crustacea, which are among the most successful and diverse parasites. Starting with an introductory chapter, followed by an historic overview and topic-specific chapters, each presenting a different aspect of parasitic crustacean biology, it enables readers to gain a better understanding...
Preprint
Three species of Cichlidae, Coptodon rendalli , Oreochromis mossambicus and Tilapia sparrmanii were screened for the presence of stomach monogeneans. Four localities across three provinces of South Africa (Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West) were sampled and a total of five Enterogyrus spp. were identified, E. cichlidarum , E. coronatus , E. mal...
Article
Climate change and associated droughts threaten the ecology and resilience of natural saline lakes globally. There is a distinct lack of research regarding their ecological response to climatic events in the Global South. This region is predicted to experience climatic events such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) more often and with greater s...
Article
Full-text available
A need exists to understand how drought and its linked consequences threaten aquatic ecosystems and their associated biota in semi-arid countries, as climate change is predicted to increase the effects of these events. South Africa experienced one of the worst droughts in its history from 2015 to 2017 and, as a result, all but the permanent waterbo...
Article
Worldwide, numerous rural communities and low-income groups depend on fish harvested by subsistence fishers from local rivers and its impoundments as a source of protein. The aim of the present study was to determine the trace element bioaccumulation (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Pt, Zn) in three edible fish species (Cyprinus carpio, Clarias gariepinus,...
Article
Full-text available
The viviparous gyrodactylid genus Macrogyrodactylus Malmberg, 1957 is endemic to Africa, composed of nine species from hosts of four freshwater fish families, including catfishes (Siluriformes: Clariidae). Three species, Macrogyrodactylus clarii Gus-sev, 1961; M. congolensis (Prudhoe, 1957) and M. karibae Douëllou et Chishawa, 1995, are primarily k...
Article
Full-text available
Background The artificial mussel (AM) is a passive sampling device that was originally developed for monitoring metal concentrations in the marine environment, but is also increasingly used in freshwater environments. The AM consists of a non-permeable Perspex tube, which is closed on both sides with a semi-permeable membrane. The space in between...
Article
Full-text available
The white skate, Rostroraja alba (Lacépède), is listed as an endangered species, the second-highest category before being declared extinct in the wild, in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This species is heavily affected by anthropogenic impacts such as capture induced stress by overfishing...
Article
Clinus superciliosus was collected for element analysis from six localities along the South African west and south coasts. Concentrations in muscle and liver were determined, considering size and sex. No significant positive correlation between size and concentrations were detected, except for Mn and Sn in liver from Simons Town marina, while no si...
Article
IntroductionParasites of the genus Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832, are predominantly parasites of freshwater and marine bony fishes. To date, 40 species of the genus have been described from Africa, with only 6 of these reported from South Africa. This represents only a small fraction of the known diversity of almost 500 species known worldwide.Me...
Article
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Aquatic macroinvertebrates are considered effective bioindicators of ecosystem health due to their different sensitivities to habitat alteration and pollution. Macroinvertebrate community structures can be assessed using commonly used diversity-based approaches, however, functional trait-based approaches are increasingly introduced into bioassessme...
Article
Full-text available
In South Africa, the role of reptilian ticks in the transmission of haemoparasites is lacking, in part, due to limited information on tick diversity and their associated haemoparasites. The aim of this research was to identify tick species parasitizing reptiles and to molecularly screen these ectoparasites for species of the blood apicomplexan genu...
Article
Thirteen species of sea lice (family Caligidae) are reported from a range of elasmobranch and actinopterygian fishes caught off South Africa.
Article
Mining activities in the world’s largest Platinum mining area in South Africa have resulted in environmental contamination with Pt (e.g., the Hex River’s vicinity). The present study compared a Pt mining area with a non-mining area along this river in terms of (1) metal concentrations in different grain size fractions from soils and aquatic sedimen...
Article
Full-text available
South African clinids are a major component of the temperate intertidal regions that are also known to participate in life cycles and transmission of several groups of parasites. However, the knowledge of trematode diversity of these fishes is incomplete. In this study, two species of Clinus Cuvier, the super klipfish Clinus superciliosus (Linnaeus...
Article
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The global invasive anguillid gill parasite Pseudodactylogyrus anguillae (Yin and Sproston, 1948) has only recently been documented from eels in South Africa. As there is no known eel trade in South Africa, the source of introduction of this parasite has been debated, and its status as an alien parasite was rendered uncertain. We report on the firs...
Article
Full-text available
A fish parasitic isopod recently reported from India as Anilocra leptosoma Bleeker, 1857, was re-examined and morphologically compared to five closely related species: A. capensis Leach, 1818, A. clupei Williams and Bunkley-Williams, 1986, A. leptosoma Bleeker, 1857, A. paulsikkeli Welicky and Smit, 2019 and A. pilchardi Bariche and Trilles, 2006....
Article
Full-text available
The branchial attaching, fish parasitic genus Mothocya Costa, in Hope, 1851 is recorded for the first time from Nigerian brackish waters on Monodactylus sebae (Perciformes: Monodactylidae). Mothocya andoni n. sp. is characterised by a trapezoid-shaped cephalon with a subtruncate rostrum; pereonite 1 anterolateral angles only reaching to the posteri...
Article
To date, micropollutants from anthropogenic sources cannot be completely removed from effluents of wastewater treatment plants and therefore enter freshwater systems, where they may impose adverse effects on aquatic organisms, for example, on fish. Advanced treatment such as ozonation aims to reduce micropollutants in wastewater effluents and, thus...
Article
Full-text available
Climate induced drought is a prominent threat to natural saline aquatic ecosystems by modifying their hydrology and salinity, which impacts the biodiversity of these ecosystems. Lake Nyamithi is a naturally saline lake in South Africa that experienced the effects of a two-year supra-seasonal drought (2015–2016). This study aimed to determine potent...
Article
The Phongolo floodplain is one of southern Africa's most important systems. In this study, we carried out a regional scale ecological risk assessment to evaluate the risk of multiple stressors associated with the use of the aquatic resources in the floodplain to selected social and ecological endpoints representing its sustainability. The floodplai...
Article
The digenetic trematode family Gorgocephalidae comprises just a few species, and the literature devoted to the lineage consists of only a handful of reports. With one exception, all reports have been based on material collected in the Indo-West Pacific, an expansive marine ecoregion stretching from the east coast of Africa to Easter Island, Hawaii...
Article
Full-text available
The monogenean genus Heterobothrium (Monogenea: Diclidophoridae) currently consists of 12 accepted species described globally from various pufferfishes (Tetraodontidae). This includes the economically important Heterobothrium okamotoi Ogawa 1991 that causes severe disease in the cultured tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes in Japan. During parasitologic...
Article
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Chonopeltis lisikili Van As and Van As, 1996 was original described from the Eastern Caprivi (Namibia) and the Okavango System (Botswana), collected from five Synodontis Cuvier, 1816 (Mochokidae) species. This fish genus is endemic to Africa, with 130 valid species, making it one of the most species-rich and widely distributed mochokid catfish fami...
Article
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Due to their unusual life cycle that includes parasitic larval and free living adult stages, gnathiid isopods are typically overlooked in biodiversity surveys, even those that focus on parasites. While the Philippines sits within the region of highest marine biodiversity in the world, the coral triangle, no gnathiid species have been identified or...
Article
Full-text available
A fish parasitic isopod recently reported from India as Anilocra leptosoma Bleeker, 1857, was re-examined and morphologically compared to five closely related species: A. capensis Leach1818, A. clupei Williams and Bunkley-Williams, 1986, A. leptosoma Bleeker, 1857, A. paulsikkeli Welicky and Smit, 2019 and A. pilchardi Bariche & Trilles, 2006. This...
Article
The threat to wildlife from chemical exposure exists regardless of the presence of conservation boundaries. An issue exacerbated by the use of environmentally persistent insecticides for vector control and long-range transport of legacy persistent organic pollutants. In this comparative study between two important conservation regions in South Afri...
Article
A new species of Grillotia Guiart, 1927 was recovered from the spotted skate (Raja straeleni Poll) from the south coast of the Western Cape, South Africa. Grillotia sasciae n. sp. is described based on morphological and molecular data. This species most closely resembles species in the subgenus Grillotia (viz., Grillotia borealis Keeney and Campbel...
Article
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Brucethoa bharata gen. et sp. nov. is described from the host fish Glossanodon macrocephalus (Argentinidae), at depths of 300–600 metres from the south-west coast of India.
Article
Full-text available
Brucethoa bharata gen. et sp. nov. is described from the host fish Glossanodon macrocephalus Bineesh and Endo, 2019 (Argentinidae), at depths of 300–600 metres from the south-west coast of India. This monotypic genus is characterised by a head weakly immersed in pereonite 1, dorsum strongly vaulted, pereonites 6 and 7 with posterolateral margin exp...
Article
Brucethoa bharata gen. et sp. nov. is described from the host fish Glossanodon macrocephalus Bineesh and Endo, 2019 (Argentinidae), at depths of 300–600 metres from the south-west coast of India. This monotypic genus is characterised by a head weakly immersed in pereonite 1, dorsum strongly vaulted, pereonites 6 and 7 with posterolateral margin exp...
Article
Full-text available
The examination of eight spotted skates, Raja straeleni Poll, resulted in the discovery of four new species of Acanthobothrium van Beneden, 1849, namely A. microhabentes sp. n., A. microtenuis sp. n., A. crassus sp. n., and A. dolichocollum sp. n., located off the Western Cape of South Africa. With a total of over 200 valid species of Acanthobothri...
Article
Full-text available
Parasitological examination of freshwater fishes of the Phongolo River in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa resulted in the discovery and morphological and molecular characterisation of a new species of Wenyonia Woodland, 1923 (Cestoda: Caryophyllidea). The new species from the plain squeaker, Synodontis zambezensis Peters (Siluriformes: Mo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The artificial mussel (AM) is a passive sampling device that was originally developed for monitoring metal concentrations in the marine environment but is also increasingly used in freshwater environments. The AM consists of a non-permeable Perspex tube, which is closed on both sides with a semi-permeable membrane. In the space in betwee...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The artificial mussel (AM) is a passive sampling device that was originally developed for monitoring metal concentrations in the marine environment but is also increasingly used in freshwater environments. The AM consists of a non-permeable Perspex tube, which contains Chelex-100 resin, water diffuses through the semi-permeable membranes...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa is in the process of developing a National Freshwater (Inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy. A properly focused research strategy is essential to guide the policy development process, and thus a dedicated ‘Inland Fisheries’ workshop was convened by the South African Society for Aquatic Scientists in June 2018 to update and further dev...
Chapter
Full-text available
Freshwater biodiversity is under constant threat from a range of anthropogenic stressors. Using South Africa’s Phongolo River and floodplain (PRF) as a study case, the aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the conservation and management of freshwater biodiversity in a highly diverse subtropical ecosystem. The PRF is the largest floodpla...
Article
Mass Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) deaths in Africa’s premier conservation area, the Kruger National Park (KNP), prompted numerous studies to determine possible causes of the sudden die-offs. The majority highlighted the involvement of the anthropocene to crocodile mass mortalities. One of the potential causative agents was identified as le...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the increasing consumption of platinum (Pt), especially in automobile exhaust catalysts, environmental concentrations of Pt are of emerging concern worldwide. Limited information exists on environmental concentrations, particularly in Pt mining regions, while South Africa is the world’s main supplier of Pt. Moreover, other metals are also re...
Article
Tsitsikamma and Sheffield Beach are two relatively pristine sites along the South African east coast representing warm temperate and subtropical biogeographic rocky shore intertidal ecosystems, respectively. Stable isotopes (δ¹⁵N and δ¹³C), metals and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were measured in 38 intertidal components to study biomagnificati...
Article
Fish parasites from the isopod family Cymothoidae have, in recent years, received increased global attention due to both their ecological and economic importance. This is particularly true for the buccal inhabiting genus Ceratothoa Dana, 1852, whose members have been implicated in negatively impacting the health of both farmed and wild-caught fishe...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the occurrence and phylogenetic relationship of protozoan parasites and Ehrlichia infecting domestic animals from three municipalities in uMkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. A total of 208 blood samples collected from clinically healthy cattle, sheep, goats and dogs from uMkhanyakude district were...
Article
Trypanosomes are ubiquitous blood parasites of fishes and at least 16 species were originally described infecting African freshwater fishes. This number was later reduced to six and in the late 1990s it was proposed that most records of freshwater fish trypanosomes across Africa are Trypanosoma mukasai Hoare, 1932. Recently, results from a molecula...
Article
The reliance of parasites on their hosts makes host-parasite interactions ideal models for exploring ecological and evolutionary processes. By providing a consistent supply of parasites, in vivo monocultures offer the opportunity to conduct experiments on a scale that is generally not otherwise possible. Gnathiid isopods are common ectoparasites of...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The African leopard Panthera pardus pardus (L.) is currently listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) red list of threatened species due to ongoing population declines. This implies that leopard-specific parasites are also vulnerable to extinction. Intracellular apicomplexan haemop...
Article
Full-text available
Fishes of the order Siluriformes, known as catfishes, have a global distribution with more than 3,600 valid species of which 2,087 occur in the Neotropical region. Despite being highly diverse, abundant, and of economic importance as food and ornamental fishes, knowledge about the diversity and distribution of their helminth parasites is fragmentar...
Article
Southern Africa has one of the highest densities of temporary pools and some of the most understudied temporary wetlands in the world. Additionally, the eastern African annual killifishes (Nothobranchius spp.) are rare in southern Africa and found exclusively in temporary habitats. There is a notable lack of literature regarding the diet of these f...
Chapter
Full-text available
Seventy-seven alien freshwater species are currently naturalised in South Africa. This list includes 7 protozoan, 1 cnidarian, 2 cestode, 13 monogenean, 1 nematode, 1 oligochaete, 6 crustacean, 16 insect, 7 mollusc and 21 fish species. Their origins include all continents except Antarctica and the main pathways for their introduction into the wild...
Article
Full-text available
Although temporary wetlands are often biodiversity hotspots that deliver multiple ecosystem services, they are also threatened by human exploitation. We conducted a comparative field study to investigate the impact of reserve protection on the diversity and community structure of aquatic macroinvertebrates of temporary wetlands (pans) in South Afri...
Article
Full-text available
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to study the ultrastructure of the uterus and egg morphology in the enigmatic bothriocephalidean tapeworm Tetracampos ciliotheca. The uterine wall, underlain by well-developed muscle bundles, consists of a syncytial epithelium which is characterized by the abundance of free ribosomes, mitochondria and...
Article
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Biomarkers are applied as early warning indicators of organisms' exposure to pollutants. The aim of this study was to utilise a multi-biomarker approach in the freshwater shrimp Caridina nilotica (Decapoda: Atyidae) as indicators of persistent pollutant exposure. A suite of biomarkers was selected to cover oxidative stress and damage, and energetic...
Article
Anuran filarial nematodes are restricted to two comparatively small subfamilies (Icosiellinae and Waltonellinae) of the filariae that currently comprise six genera and 41 recognised species. However, the life histories of only five anuran filarial nematodes, proposed as an ancestral group based on molecular phylogenetic studies, have been elucidate...
Article
Full-text available
Bithynids snails are a widespread group of molluscs in European freshwater systems. However, not much information is available on trematode communities from molluscs of this family. Here, we investigate the trematode diversity of Bithynia tentaculata , based on molecular and morphological data. A total of 682 snails from the rivers Lippe and Rhine...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing evidence that platinum group elements (PGE) are pollutants of emerging concern worldwide. Limited information exists on levels, particularly in regions where PGEs are mined. A passive sampling device (i.e., the artificial mussel (AM)) and transplanted indicator organisms (i.e., the freshwater clam Corbicula fluminalis africana)...