Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Morphology and pathology of the ectoparasitic copepod, Nicothoë astaci (‘lobster louse’) in the European lobster, Homarus gammarus

  • EMMA C. WOOTTON (a1), EDWARD C. POPE (a1), CLAIRE L. VOGAN (a2), EMILY C. ROBERTS (a1), CHARLOTTE E. DAVIES (a1) and ANDREW F. ROWLEY (a1)...
Summary
SUMMARY

Ectoparasitic copepods have been reported in a wide range of aquatic animals, including crustacean shellfish. However, with the exception of the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, our knowledge of such parasites in commercial species is rudimentary. The current study examines the morphology and pathology of the parasitic copepod, Nicothoë astaci (the ‘lobster louse’) in its host, the European lobster, Homarus gammarus. Lobsters were sampled from waters surrounding Lundy Island (Bristol Channel, UK) and all individuals collected were found to harbour female adult N. astaci in their gills, with a mean of 47·3 parasites/lobster. The majority of N. astaci were found in the basal region of pleurobranch gills. The parasite was found to attach to gill filaments via its oral sucker, maxillae and maxillipeds, and to feed on host haemolymph (blood) through a funnel-like feeding channel. It caused varying degrees of damage to the host gill, including occlusion of gill filaments and disruption to the vascular system in the central axis. Although there was evidence of extensive host response (haemocytic infiltration) to the parasite, it was displaced from the parasite attachment site and thus was observed in the central gill axis below. The region of gill filament immediately underlying the parasite feeding channel was devoid of such activity suggesting that the parasite interferes with the cellular defence and haemostatic mechanisms of the lobster in order to maintain invasion of the host.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK. Tel: +1792 295455. E-mail: a.f.rowley@swansea.ac.uk
References
Hide All
M. J. Costello (2009 a). The global economic cost of sea lice to salmonid farming industry. Journal of Fish Diseases 32, 115118. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2761.2008.01011x.

Y. Inoue , M. Ueno and S. Baba (1997). Arterial system of the gill of the lobster, Homarus americanus. Journal of Morphology 233, 165181.

M. Krkošek , J. S. Ford , A. Morton , S. Lele , R. A. Myers and M. A. Lewis (2007). Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon. Science 318, 17721775. doi: 10.1126/science.1148744.

B. F. Nowak , J. Bryan and S. R. M. Jones (2010). Do salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, have a role in the epidemiology of amoebic gill disease caused by Neoparamoeba perurans? Journal of Fish Diseases 33, 683687. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2761.2010.01158.x

T. B. Scott-Holland , S. M. Bennett and M. B. Bennett (2006). Distribution of an asymmetrical copepod, Hatschekia plectropomi, on the gills of Plectropomus leopardus. Journal of Fish Biology 68, 222235.

M. Wynnchuk (1992). Minimizing artifacts in tissue processing. 1. Importance of softening agents. Journal of Histotechnology 15, 321323.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Parasitology
  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 8 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 328 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.