Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 45–53 | Cite as

Predation by the nemertean Carcinonemertes errans on eggs of the Dungeness crab Cancer magister

  • D. E. Wickham
Article

Abstract

The nemertean Carcinonemertes errans is an important predator on the eggs of its host, the Dungeness crab Cancer magister. Each nemertean consumes an average of approximately 70 crab eggs during the host brooding period. The nemerteans, which apparently consume no other food during the host brooding period, convert crab egg tissue to worm tissue with an efficiency of 28.9% on a caloric basis. Epidemic levels of Carcinonemertes errans on the central California Dungeness crab population have resulted in the direct mortality of an average of 55% of the eggs produced by that population over the last 5 years, making C. errans probably the most numerically significant predator on these crabs.

Keywords

Brooding Period Caloric Basis Important Predator Crab Population Dungeness Crab 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Botsford, L.W. and D.E. Wickham: Behavior of age-specific, density-dependent models and the northern California Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) fishery. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 35, 833–843 (1978)Google Scholar
  2. Coe, W.R.: The nemertean parasites of crabs. Am. Nat. 36, 431–450 (1902)Google Scholar
  3. Fisher, W.S.: Relationships of epibiotic fouling and mortalities of eggs of the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister). J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 33, 2849–2853 (1976)Google Scholar
  4. — and D.E. Wickham: Mortalities and epibiotic fouling of eggs from wild populations of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister. Fish. Bull. U.S. 74, 201–207 (1976)Google Scholar
  5. Humes, A.G.: The morphology, taxonomy and bionomics of the nemertean genus Carcinonemertes Illinois biol. Monogr. 18, 1–105 (1942)Google Scholar
  6. Kuris, A.M.: Population interactions between a shore crab and two symbionts, 431 pp. Ph. D. thesis, Berkeley: University of California 1971Google Scholar
  7. —: Life cycle distribution and abundance of Carcinonemertes epialti, a nemertean egg predator of the shore crab, Hemigrapsus oregonensis, in relation to host size, reproduction, and molt cycle. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 154, 121–137 (1978)Google Scholar
  8. Orians, G. and D. Janzen: Why are embryos so tasty? Am. Nat. 108, 581–592 (1974)Google Scholar
  9. Roe, P.: Aspects of development and occurrence of Carcinonemertes epialti (Nemertea) from shore crabs in Monterey Bay, California. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 156, 130–140 (1979)Google Scholar
  10. Roger-Talbert, R.: The fungus Lagenidium callinectes Couch (1947) on eggs of the blue crab in Chesapeake Bay. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 94, 214–228 (1948)Google Scholar
  11. Rose, S.M.: A feedback mechanism of growth control in tadpoles. Ecology 41, 188–199 (1960)Google Scholar
  12. Sindermann, C.J.: Disease diagnosis and control in North American aquaculture, 329 pp. New York: Elsevier 1977Google Scholar
  13. Subramoniam, T.: Some aspects of reproductive ecology of a mole crab Emerita asiatica Milne Edwards. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 36, 259–268 (1979)Google Scholar
  14. Wickham, D.E.: A new species of Carcinonemertes (Nemertea: Carcinonemertidae) with notes on the genus from the Pacific Coast. Proc. biol. Soc. Wash. 91, 197–202 (1978)Google Scholar
  15. Wickham, D.E. The crab-egg predator, Carcinonemertes errans, and cycling and collapse of Dungeness crab population, 90 pp. Ph.D. thesis, Berkeley: University of California 1979Google Scholar
  16. Wickham, D.E. Carcinonemertes errans and epibiotic fouling of Dungeness crab eggs. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. (in press)Google Scholar
  17. Wickham, D.E. and L.W. Botsford: Multiple equilibria in the interaction between Carcinonemertes errans and its host, the Dungeness crab. (In preparation)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Wickham
    • 1
  1. 1.Bodega Marine LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBodega BayUSA

Personalised recommendations