Barnacle commensals on crab gills

SSC A Guide to Seashore Life in Singapore: Barnacles on Crabs – “Stalked barnacles, mainly of the genus Octolasmis (Family Lepidae) also appear to favour animal hosts, and often grow on the shells and gills of crabs, as well as skins of sea snakes. Octolasmis is not strictly a parasite since they only use the gills as a base, and take advantage of the respiratory currents to bring in planktonic food (they are also filter feeders). They are lost each time the host moults.”

Octolasmis on gills of Scylla

Photo of Octolasmis on gills of Scylla from the dry run dissection today with the TAs for Thursday’s practical.

Voris et al. (1994) – “Two lepadomorph barnacle species, Octolasmis angulata and 0. cor, were commonly found living together in the branchial chambers of the mangrove crab, Scylla serrata [in southern Thailand]. Patterns of distribution are a reflection of cyprid choice at crab ecdysis. Among the 6648 barnacles observed, there were roughly twice as many 0. cor as 0. angulata (3670 to 1758). … current flow through the gill chamber may be an important factor influencing site selection by cyprids.” – Voris, H. K., W. B. Jeffries & S. Poovachiranon, 1994. Patterns of distribution of two barnacle species on the mangrove crab, Scylla serrata. Biol. Bull., 187: 346-354.

See also Jeffries, W.B., H. K. Voris & C. M. Yang, 1982. Diversity and distribution of the pedunculate barnacle, Octolasmis in the seas adjacent to Singapore. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 2(4):562-569.

For even more information, see this webpage is devoted to the biology of the goose barnacles of the genus Octolasmis that the Field Museum setup in 2004. I recall they had a lovely volunteer who set this all up with Harold’s direction.

Posted by email from otterman’s posterous; subsequently edited with MarsEdit