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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 147:33-46 (2021)  -  DOI:

Rhizocephalan infection in the Patagonian stone crab Danielethus patagonicus

Pedro J. Barón1,*, Gustavo A. Leal2, Andrés E. Carsen3, Marina A. Kroeck4, Enrique M. Morsan4

1Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR-CONICET), U9120DHA Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
2Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT-CONICET), U9120DHA Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
3Autoridad de Cuenca Matanza Riachuelo (ACUMAR), C1035ABE Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Centro de Investigación Aplicada y Transferencia Tecnológica en Recursos Marinos Almirante Storni (CIMAS-CONICET/ UNComa/Gobierno de la Provincia de Río Negro/INIDEP), R8520CXV San Antonio Oeste, Río Negro, Argentina
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The system formed by a still-unidentified rhizocephalan infecting the Patagonian stone crab Danielethus (Platyxanthus) patagonicus (A. Milne-Edwards, 1879) was analyzed in northern Patagonia. Out of 3222 crabs sampled, mean prevalence of externae was 2.1%, while corrected mean prevalence based on observations of externae, scars or other indicators of infection was slightly higher (3.01%; N = 2100). Prevalence was higher in males (4.47%) than in females (1.44%). Parasitized males were morphologically feminized, while females showed no hyper-feminization. Although most parasitized crabs showed only 1 externa, 2 externae were observed in some individuals. The parasite externae were only present in intermediate-sized crabs (26.6-99.7 cm carapace width). While scanning electron microscopy images allowed detection of the ‘smooth-surface-balloon’ type of retinacula on the inner surface of the externae, typical of the Sacculinidae and Peltogastridae, the position of the mantle opening relative to the stalk, the receptacle location and the shape of the externae suggest that the parasite belongs to either the genus Sacculina or to the recently erected Parasacculina (Polyascidae).

KEY WORDS: Rhizocephala · Morphology · Feminization · Host specificity · South America · Prevalence · Retinacula · Taxonomy

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Cite this article as: Barón PJ, Leal GA, Carsen AE, Kroeck MA, Morsan EM (2021) Rhizocephalan infection in the Patagonian stone crab Danielethus patagonicus. Dis Aquat Org 147:33-46.

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