DAO prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03380

Parasitic effects of the bopyrid Megacepon goetici (Crustacea: Isopoda) on the varunid crab Gaetice depressus

Jonel M. Corral*, Yumi Henmi, Yuto Shiozaki, Gyo Itani

*Email: jmcorral.08@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: The effects of infestation by the bopyrid isopod Megacepon goetici on the varunid crab Gaetice depressus were investigated. This crab is one of the most common crabs in Japanese intertidal shores where it plays a key role in structuring the benthic community. Samples were collected in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. From a total of 1694 crabs, 61 (3.6%) were parasitized by bopyrid isopods. No ovigerous female was parasitized, which may be evidence of parasitic castration of female host crabs. Total weight of males and females were reduced. Infested crabs also exhibited subtle lateral and dorsal carapace swellings due to the presence of parasites under the carapace. We therefore conclude that the morphology and the reproductive capacity of G. depressus were significantly affected by bopyrid isopod.