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Vazquez-Lopez H.,Laboratorio Of Ecologia Y Conservacion | Rocha-Ramorez A.,Laboratorio Of Ecologia Y Conservacion | Chazaro-Olvera S.,Laboratorio Of Ecologia Y Conservacion | Castillo-Barranco D.R.,Laboratorio Of Ecologia Y Conservacion | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science | Year: 2012

Two-hundred forty two Callinectes rathbunae crabs parasitized with Loxothylacus texanus were caught; of them, 233 showed some type of lesion related to shell disease. The organisms with virgin externa showed grooming activity and the organisms with mature externa did not show that behavior; they only groomed merely the externa, like egg-bearing females do. Sediment accumulation was observed on the shells of these organisms. Another aspect observed was that the organisms with virgin and immature externa had the ability to swim and the crabs with mature externa lost swimming mobility; some of these organisms lost even mobility of their walking legs. The most common lesions were ruptures or cuts (104), followed by brown spots and ulcerations (95), brown spots (20) and ulcerations (7). This is the first report where serious injuries in the abdomen of crustaceans affected with shell disease are documented, showing even loss of exoskeleton and cuts, since this type of injuries were not found in the consulted literature. Summarizing, shell disease is characterized by: (1) the appearance of brown spots, (2) the appearance of brown/black spots with brown/black halos, (3) the appearance of ulcerations with brown/black halos, (4) perforations and (5) loss of large amounts of exoskeleton. We can conclude that this is the first record on shell disease in C. rathbunae parasitized by L. texanus and the presence of L. texanus on C. rathbunae is probably a stress cause that facilities the establishment of bacteria on parasitized dark crabs. © 2012 Academic Journals Inc.

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