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


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.


Brooding Period Caloric Basis Important Predator Crab Population Dungeness Crab 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

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

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