a1 CCMAR Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
a2 Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Pescas, IPIMAR, Avenida de Brasília, s/n. 1449-006 Lisbon, Portugal
a3 Harding University, Department of Biology, 915 East Market Avenue, Searcy, Arkansas 72149-2251 USA
The present work reports the existence of parasitic castration induced by the bopyrid isopod Argeiopsis inhacae parasitizing the branchial chamber of female Stenopus hispidus. Parasitized and unparasitized females of S. hispidus displayed similar intermoult periods (14 ± 2 d) and exhibited similar mating behaviours. However, despite exhibiting typical mating behaviour, parasitized females were never able to produce any egg clutch when paired with unparasitized males; neither displayed the typical ‘dorsal bright green spot’ evidencing the presence of large vitellogenic oocytes. The idea that bopyrid infections generally lead to the ‘reproductive death’ of the decapod host is reinforced and the apparent existence of a heavily sex-biased infection towards females in S. hispidus may just be a consequence of the still limited number of surveyed specimens.
(Received June 01 2007)
(Accepted November 30 2007)