Parasitization of the white spotwrist hermit crab, Pagurus criniticornis (Dana, 1852) (Decapoda, Anomura), by the rhizocephalan barnacle Peltogasterella socialis (Müller, 1863) (Cirripedia, Rhizocephala) from southeastern Brazil

in Animal Biology
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Abstract

Hermit crabs of the species Pagurus criniticornis (Dana, 1852) parasitized by the poorly known colonial rhizocephalan Peltogasterella socialis (Müller, 1863), were collected in the infralittoral rocky/sandy area of Anchieta Island (São Paulo), Brazil. We report the presence and pattern of occurrence of this rhizocephalan in the P. criniticornis population. The hermit crabs were obtained monthly during 1999 by two people using SCUBA methods. A total of 992 hermit crabs were captured and examined for rhizocephalans. The studied population showed non-normal size distribution and only 2.11% of the sample specimens carried externae of P. socialis. The parasite occurrence was seasonal and varied with host size. Some signs of feminization were observed on P. criniticornis pleopods (elongation of the endopod and reduction of the exopod of pleopods for males and reduction in the size of endopods for females). This is the first report on this parasite/host relationship for this South American host species. This is the first record of P. socialis (Müller, 1863) subsequent to the species' description, and possible occurrence of the parasite on hermit crabs in the Bahamas is also reported.

Parasitization of the white spotwrist hermit crab, Pagurus criniticornis (Dana, 1852) (Decapoda, Anomura), by the rhizocephalan barnacle Peltogasterella socialis (Müller, 1863) (Cirripedia, Rhizocephala) from southeastern Brazil

in Animal Biology

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