DAO 113:169-175 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02814

NOTE
Effect of the copepod parasite Nicothoë astaci on haemolymph chemistry of the European lobster Homarus gammarus 

Charlotte E. Davies1,*, Claire L. Vogan2, Andrew F. Rowley

1Department of Biosciences, College of Science, and 2College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The gills of the European lobster Homarus gammarus (L.) are susceptible to parasitization by the copepod Nicothoë astaci, the lobster louse. This copepod feeds on haemolymph of the host and can damage the gills, potentially affecting gaseous exchange capabilities. To investigate the host response to the parasite, haemolymph levels of total protein, haemocyanin, glucose and ammonia were quantified in adult lobsters carrying varying parasite loads. Parasite loads correlated positively with total haemolymph protein and haemocyanin concentrations but not with glucose or ammonia concentrations. The data suggest that lobsters with gills damaged by the feeding activities of N. astaci respond by producing higher levels of haemocyanin, which is both a key defence response and may compensate for their decreased respiratory functioning.


KEY WORDS: Lobster louse · Haemolymph proteins · Haemocyanin · Glucose · Ammonia · Ectoparasites · Blood chemistry


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Cite this article as: Davies CE, Vogan CL, Rowley AF (2015) Effect of the copepod parasite Nicothoë astaci on haemolymph chemistry of the European lobster Homarus gammarus . Dis Aquat Org 113:169-175. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02814

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