DAO 47:145-149 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao047145

Impact of the copepod Mytilicola orientalis on the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in Ireland

S. Steele1,*, M. F. Mulcahy2

1Marine Research Services Ltd, 38 Middle Hill, Egham, Surrey TW20 OJL, United Kingdom
2Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, National University of Ireland Cork, Cork, Ireland

ABSTRACT: Infections of a population of Crassostrea gigas by the copepod Mytilicola orientalis were examined at an oyster growing site at Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland. Twenty-one samples, each consisting of 20 to 30 oysters have been examined over 2 yr. Condition, sex, reproductive stage, length, weight, glycogen content and other parasite burdens of the oysters were examined in relation to the degree of infection of M. orientalis; 14.38% of oysters were infested. Mean abundance was 0.6 oyster-1. The maximum number of copepods in an oyster was 20. M. orientalis had no effect on condition, growth, sex, stage or glycogen content of the oyster but correlated with shell burrowing by Polydora sp.


KEY WORDS: Crassostrea gigas · Mytilicola orientalis · Copepod


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