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Volume 45 - Number 3 - 2010
Nota Científica

 


Association of parasitism by Profilicollis bullocki (Paleacanthocephala, Polymorphidae) with the behavior and pigmentation of Emerita analoga (Anomura, Hippidae) in Chile

Rodolfo Jerez1 y Mario George-Nascimento1


1Departamento de Ecología Costera, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Casilla 297, Concepción, Chile

 

E-mail: mgeorgen@ucsc.cl

 

The intermediate host of the acanthocephalan Profilicollis bullocki in Chile is the mole crab Emerita analoga, a dominant species in sandy beaches, whereas the final hosts are marine birds. This parasite may affect the host phenotype because several studies about intermediate host-parasite systems where acanthocephalans participate, indicate modifications in host behavior. We experimentally assess if the parasite is able to modify the behavior and carapace pigmentation of naturally infected mole crabs. Results suggest that P. bullocki induce changes in the E. analoga phenotype: hosts with more P. bullocki are less active and lighter in carapace pigmentation than those without or with less parasites. This might affect its ability to escape predators

 

Key words: Parasitism, mole crab, acanthocephalan, host phenotype

 

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