DAO 62:249-253 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao062249

Reproduction of Mothocya epimerica (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cymothoidae), parasitic on the sand smelt Atherina boyeri (Osteichthyes: Atherinidae) in Greek lagoons

Ioannis Leonardos1,*, Jean-Paul Trilles2

1Biological Applications and Technologies Department, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
2Equipe Adaptation Ecophysiologique et Ontogenese, UMR 5000 (UM 2-IFREMER-CNRS), Universite Montpellier 2, CP 092, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France

ABSTRACT: The reproduction and growth pattern of Mothocya epimerica (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cymothoidae), a protandrous hermaphroditic gill parasite of Atherina boyeri (Osteichthyes: Atherinidae), were investigated in the Mesolongi and Etolikon lagoons. The parasite shows an extensive reproductive period. Gravid females were found between April and November, and juveniles between May and December. M. epimerica grew allometrically (slopes of the total weight–total length regressions were >3). Females were significantly heavier than males. The relationship between number of eggs or mancas larvae (F) and total length (TL) was investigated in gravid female parasites in which the marsupium was still closed; the relationship was clearly curvilinear: F = 0.128TL3.18. The number of eggs or mancas larvae held in the marsupia of females increased proportionally with female length, varying from 39 in an isopod of 6.3 mm length to 158 in one of 8.5 mm length. The average number of eggs or mancas larvae was 76.70 ± 27.8.

KEY WORDS: Mothocya epimerica · Isopoda · Cymothoidae · Atherina boyeri · Parasites · Lagoons · Reproduction

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