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Infestation of shore crab gills by a free-living mussel species

Infestation of shore crab gills by a free-living mussel species
Infestation of shore crab gills by a free-living mussel species

Parasitic and commensal species can impact the structure and function of ecological communities and are typically highly specialized to overcome host defences. Here, we report multiple instances of a normally free-living species, the blue mussel Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758, inhabiting the branchial chamber of the shore crab Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) collected from widely separated geographical locations. A total of 127 C. maenas were examined from four locations in the English Channel, one location in the Irish Sea and two locations at the entrance of the Baltic Sea. The branchial chambers of three crabs (one from the English Channel and two from Gullmar Fjord, Sweden) were infested with mussels resembling the genus Mytilus. Sequencing at the Me15/16 locus on the polyphenolic adhesive protein gene confirmed the identity as M. edulis. Bivalve infestation always occurred in larger red male individuals. Up to 16 mussels, ranging from 2 to 11 mm in shell length, were found in each individual, either wedged between gill lamellae or attached to the branchial chamber inner wall. This is one of the first reports of a bivalve inhabiting crustacean gills and is an intriguing case of a normally free-living prey species infesting its predator.

Commensal, Infestation, Mussel-bound, Parasite, Predator–prey interaction, Shore crab
1867-1616
1241-1246
Poulter, Rowan
644d6a22-50b0-4633-903c-d9349e0052d7
Oliver, P. Graham
e65fe130-f748-4891-aa1e-b2150315fe2b
Hauton, Chris
7706f6ba-4497-42b2-8c6d-00df81676331
Ciotti, Benjamin J.
034551e4-d770-4cd2-80cc-b95c677938d2
Sanders, Trystan
4f3b5742-82bb-48d6-bcaa-0489c0880628
Poulter, Rowan
644d6a22-50b0-4633-903c-d9349e0052d7
Oliver, P. Graham
e65fe130-f748-4891-aa1e-b2150315fe2b
Hauton, Chris
7706f6ba-4497-42b2-8c6d-00df81676331
Ciotti, Benjamin J.
034551e4-d770-4cd2-80cc-b95c677938d2
Sanders, Trystan
4f3b5742-82bb-48d6-bcaa-0489c0880628

Poulter, Rowan, Oliver, P. Graham, Hauton, Chris, Ciotti, Benjamin J. and Sanders, Trystan (2017) Infestation of shore crab gills by a free-living mussel species. Marine Biodiversity, 48 (2), 1241-1246. (doi:10.1007/s12526-016-0631-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Parasitic and commensal species can impact the structure and function of ecological communities and are typically highly specialized to overcome host defences. Here, we report multiple instances of a normally free-living species, the blue mussel Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758, inhabiting the branchial chamber of the shore crab Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) collected from widely separated geographical locations. A total of 127 C. maenas were examined from four locations in the English Channel, one location in the Irish Sea and two locations at the entrance of the Baltic Sea. The branchial chambers of three crabs (one from the English Channel and two from Gullmar Fjord, Sweden) were infested with mussels resembling the genus Mytilus. Sequencing at the Me15/16 locus on the polyphenolic adhesive protein gene confirmed the identity as M. edulis. Bivalve infestation always occurred in larger red male individuals. Up to 16 mussels, ranging from 2 to 11 mm in shell length, were found in each individual, either wedged between gill lamellae or attached to the branchial chamber inner wall. This is one of the first reports of a bivalve inhabiting crustacean gills and is an intriguing case of a normally free-living prey species infesting its predator.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 24 January 2017
Keywords: Commensal, Infestation, Mussel-bound, Parasite, Predator–prey interaction, Shore crab

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421826
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421826
ISSN: 1867-1616
PURE UUID: 4c3f97e3-30f3-4fc2-a69b-bf15d86b7698
ORCID for Chris Hauton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2313-4226
ORCID for Trystan Sanders: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7605-0747

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:23

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Contributors

Author: Rowan Poulter
Author: P. Graham Oliver
Author: Chris Hauton ORCID iD
Author: Benjamin J. Ciotti
Author: Trystan Sanders ORCID iD

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