Symbiosis Between Portunus Spinimanus Latreille, 1819 (Decapoda, Portunidae) and Octolasmis Lowei (Darwin, 1852) (Thoracica, Poecilasmatidae) from Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  • Sandro Santos


From May 1991 to May 1993, 1798 Portunus spinimanus were captured by monthly samplings in the Ubatuba region, São Paulo, Brazil. Octolasmis lowei was present on the gills of 183 crabs. The interaction between the two species was analyzed, focusing on the monthly presence of O. lowei on the gills of P. spinimanus, and its relationship with sex, molt cycle, stage of gonad development, and weight of the host crab. Octolasmis lowei was registered in all months except in July, August, September 1991, February and April 1992 . The infestation rates in male and female hosts were similar, 11% of adults and 1.1% of juveniles had O. lowei. Among infested crabs, 91.8% were in the intermolt stage; 55.9% of females were in an initial stage of gonad development and 53.6% of males presented fully developed gonads. The weight-carapace width relationship is described as follows: crabs infested with O. lowei, W = 3.9x l0-4CW2.87 and uninfested crabs, W = 56 x 10-4 CW3.31. The obtained data suggest that O. lowei infests adult crabs preferentially, and it doesn’t interfere with the gonad development of P. spinimanus. However, it seems to negatively affect the weight of infested crabs.


Gonad Development Juvenile Male Molt Cycle Molt Stage Allometric Coefficient 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandro Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil

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