Crab parasite physiological response

Dec 24, 2002
I know this is non-ceph, but I thought it might make for an interesting topic.

So I was pondering something… Has anyone done a histology/serology study on rhizocephalan-infected Cancer specimens? I was just wondering if infection by these parasites causes any measurable physiological change, like a fever response, blood chem changes, etc.?


P.S. Mind you Cancer is a prey species of the gold old GPO, so I figured that would make for an interesting followup to my age-old question of ceph parasites
Well I looked it up in a handy invert. book but it did not say much about it, just what they are and that they can infect crabs. Also that other barnacle parasites (Ascothoracia) live on echinoderms and soft corals. On a side note one species of parasitic barnical Sacculina digests the androgenic glands of a male crab first which may lead to the eventual castration of the crab.
Matt Jones said:
Do these things parasitise fish?


Not that I know of. Truth is, I haven't found a lot of current information on them, though some great papers were published in the 1800's. They're oft known as parasitic castrators, due to the idea that they "feminize" male crabs by supressing secondary male characteristics, and causing male crabs to carry egg masses and defend them as their own.

A good Rhizocephalan page

This page has some very decent rhizo information. Trust me, this is stranger than science fiction.

Sushi and non-parasitic sake,

Don't quote me on this Matt, but I don't think we have any rhizocephalins in NZ (or at least recorded from NZ). John B is the man to talk to re such matters (the 'Species 2000' faunal & floral inventories should be out ... soon .... 2005 :oops: ). These beasts fall into his area of expertise. There is another absolutely wonderful barnacle that establishes itself in the cloaca of deep-sea species of shark (I sent him these years ago; they're in his office now - though I don't think this brute has been formally recorded from 'down under' yet (he told me the genus of it several months ago, but my brain has gone dead)); you'd not miss it - it's nasty!!

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