Carcinus maenas, the green crab, is a major host. The green crab is considered a highly invasive species, so it is not clear where 's actual range is. Carcinus maenas has a native range of the upper European/North African coast, though it has since spread to most of the major coasts, including the United States' New England coast area, the western U.S. coast, some areas at the southern coast of South America, the southern coast of Africa, and the southeast coast of Australia. In addition, is being introduced in areas to control C. maenas, so it is possible that the parasite extends to some of the crab's invasive range. (Høeg, et al., 2000; Jones, 2007)is a parasitic species, so its geographic range follows its host.
- Habitat Regions
- saltwater or marine
- Other Habitat Features
- Range depth
- 200 to 0 m
- 656.17 to 0.00 ft
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- sexes shaped differently
- Range mass
- <1 (low) g
- (low) oz
The life cycle of (Day, 1935)begins with a nauplius larvae being emitted from the mantle cavity of the host. The free-living nauplius larvae molts several times over five or six days, and then enters the cypris stage. Three days into the cypris stage, attaches to its host's antenna. From there, it sheds its abdomen and thorax, and enters the crab as a mass of embryonic cells through its antennae. At this point, the mass of cells migrates to the mid-gut of the crab just below the heart and extends tendrils to secure itself and obtain nutrition.
Several weeks after it enters its host, (Zimmer, 2000a)extends a small knob through the abdomen of its host called an externa. This knob is where the male enters the female.
- Development - Life Cycle
The female (Zimmer, 2001)extends a small knob to the outside of a crab, through which a microscopic male larvae enters. Typically, a female has two males which live off of it and constantly fertilizes it. The female then produces hundreds of eggs a day, which incubate in the abdomen of the host.
- Mating System
A (Foxon, 1940)female is fertilized by microscopic males which live within it. The female releases fertilized eggs into the abdominal cavity of the host, where the eggs are incubated and develop into free-living larvae. About 6 weeks after finding a host, the young are capable of reproducing.
- Breeding season
- On Carcinus maenas June or July to September, on Portunus holsatus the breeding season is short and in the early spring
While a femaleprovides no parental care, the hosts provide an efficient means of distribution for larvae. The behavior of both male and female infected crabs is modified so that they treat the externa from like their own eggs. Infected crabs climb to high places with fast currents and disperse larval parasites like they would their own eggs, thus continuing the cycle of infection. At this point, the free-swimming larvae are entirely independent.
- Parental Investment
The lifespan of (Zimmer, 2000b)is host-dependent, as its life-span matches that of the host. In many crabs this is 1-2 years.
Communication and Perception
- Primary Diet
- eats body fluids
- Animal Foods
- body fluids
Becauseis an internal crab parasite, its only predators are animals that predate on crabs.
Carcinus maenas is a primary host, works to somewhat control the green crab population. Currently is being considered whether it is an effective invasive species regulatory control. In some populations, can render up 50% of the crab population infertile, so in theory, can have an important effect on the ecosystem balance. (Høeg, et al., 2000; Zimmer, 2000a)is a parasite on a wide variety of crab species, and causes decreased fertility in infected crabs. Since
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- controls pest population
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- causes or carries domestic animal disease
does not have any conservation status.
Winnie Jeng (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Renee Mulcrone (editor), Special Projects.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
- Pacific Ocean
body of water between the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), Australia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. This is the world's largest ocean, covering about 28% of the world's surface.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
- causes or carries domestic animal disease
either directly causes, or indirectly transmits, a disease to a domestic animal
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean and tidal influences result in fluctuations in salinity.
union of egg and spermatozoan
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an organism that obtains nutrients from other organisms in a harmful way that doesn't cause immediate death
An aquatic biome consisting of the open ocean, far from land, does not include sea bottom (benthic zone).
Referring to a mating system in which a female mates with several males during one breeding season (compare polygynous).
- radial symmetry
a form of body symmetry in which the parts of an animal are arranged concentrically around a central oral/aboral axis and more than one imaginary plane through this axis results in halves that are mirror-images of each other. Examples are cnidarians (Phylum Cnidaria, jellyfish, anemones, and corals).
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
non-motile; permanently attached at the base.
Attached to substratum and moving little or not at all. Synapomorphy of the Anthozoa
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
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