Fusarium sp. (Fungus or Burn Spot Disease) of Lobsters


Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Fungus (Fusarium ) or Burn spot disease of juvenile lobsters.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Imperfect fungus Fusarium sp., possibly Fusarium solani.

Geographic distribution

Reported only from one lobster rearing facility in New York.

Host species

Homarus americanus. This same, or similar species, has also been reported on shrimps and prawns.

Impact on the host

Mortality due to gill dysfunction. Infected individuals do not survive molt.

Diagnostic techniques

Gross Observations: Black spots on exoskeleton and brownish discoloration of the gills.

Wet Mounts: Hyphae and conidia develop on and in gill lamellae.

Histology: Examine gills and exoskeleton for mycelia. Sections show hyphae in cuticular and subcuticular exoskeleton encapsulated and melanized.

Culture: Culture fungus on Sabouraud dextrose or fluid glycollate medium.

Methods of control

No treatment reported. Disease probably related to poor husbandry. Careful cleaning and maintenance of rearing systems are essential prophylaxis.


Brock, J.A. and D.V. Lightner. 1990. Diseases of Crustacea. Diseases caused by microorganisms. In: O. Kinne (ed.). Diseases of Marine Animals. Volume III: Introduction, Cephalopoda, Annelida, Crustacea, Chaetognatha, Echinodermata, Urochordata. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Hamburg, p. 339-344.

Sindermann, C.J. 1988. Fungus (Fusarium ) disease of lobsters. In: C.J. Sindermann and D.V. Lightner (eds.). Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Aquaculture. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science 17. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 255-257.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M., McGladdery, S.E., Price, I.M. (1994): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Fusarium sp. (Fungus or Burn Spot Disease) of Lobsters.

Date last revised: December 2006
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: