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Parasites and epibionts of grapsid crabs in Bahía Blanca estuary, Argentina

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Epibionts and parasites were recovered from the grapsid crabs Cyrtograpsus angulatus and Neohelice granulata in the Bahía Blanca estuary, Argentina. Among epibionts, we identified a filamentous bacterium, the protozoan Epistylis sp., and the copepod Neocancrincola platensis on the gills; and the barnacles Balanus amphitrite and Balanus glandula as well as the bryozoan Conopeum reticulum on the caparace. Among endoparasites, we identified the acanthocephalan Profilicollis chasmagnathi in the hindgut, nematodes of the subfamily Acuariinae and Ascarophis sp. in the haemocoel, and an encysted cyclophyllidean cestode in the gut wall. Among microphallid digeneans, we found four metacercariae: Maritrema bonaerensis in the gills, muscle, haemocoel, and gonads, Maritrema orensensis in the gills, Levinseniella cruzi in the gonads, and Odhneria sp. in the muscle. Except for P. chasmagnathi, N. platensis, and M. bonaerensis, all other epibionts and digeneans represent new host records. This paper also presents novel information regarding the possible sites of infection for M. bonaerensis. Our results add relevant data about possible life cycles of helminths in the study area. Se recuperaron epibiontes y parásitos de los cangrejos grápsidos Cyrtograpsus angulatus y Neohelice granulata en el estuario de Bahía Blanca, Argentina. Entre los epibiontes, se identificaron una bacteria filamentosa, el protozoo Epistylis sp. y el copépodo Neocancrincola platensis en las branquias, y los cirripedios Balanus amphitrite y Balanus glandula y el briozoo Conopeum reticulum en el caparazón. Entre los endoparásitos, se identificaron el acantocéfalo Profilicollis chasmagnathi en el intestino posterior, los nematodes Acuariinae y Ascarophis sp. en el hemocele y un cestode cyclophyllideo en la pared intestinal. Entre los digeneos microphallidos, se encontraron cuatro metacercarias: Maritrema bonaerensis en las branquias, el músculo, el hemocele y las gónadas, Maritrema orensensis en las branquias, Levinseniella cruzi en las gónadas y Odhneria sp. en el músculo. Excepto por P. chasmagnathi, N. platensis y M. bonaerensis, todos los otros epibiontes y digeneos representan nuevos registros para los hospedadores. Además, este trabajo presenta nuevos sitios de infección para M. bonaerensis y revela nuevos datos sobre los posibles ciclos de vida de los helmintos en el sitio de estudio.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y Vectores, Consejo Nacional del Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calle 2 No. 584, 1900, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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