Distribution and Size of Barnacle Chelonibia patula Fouling Blue Crab Callinectes amnicola in Southeast Nigeria
Udoh James Philip
Otoh Aniekan Johnny
- Publisher: Sciendo
Croatian Journal of Fisheries
Crustacean Encrusters | Epibiosis | Infestation | Prevalence rate | Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling | SH1-691
The distribution and occurrence of epibionts on the dorsal carapace, ventral carapace and chela of 325 specimens of Callinectes amnicola (De Rocheburne, 1883) (103.4 - 138.7 mm carapace width) from the Qua Iboe (QIRE) and Imo River (IRE) estuaries in southeast Nigeria was determined. The only ectosymbiont observed was cirriped barnacle, Chelonibia patula, mostly of smaller sizes (2.25 mm), infesting only 25-29% of intermoult crabs, more on females and in the Imo River estuary, with an average of four barnacles per crab, presupposing low level of epibiont-host interaction. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in spatial distribution but epibionts were highest in the dry season in low salinity IRE (0.53‰) and in wet season in the medium-salinity QIRE (17.4‰). No public health risk has been reported among crab consumers in the study area. This study highlights epibiont-host interaction in the study area largely unknown for proper management of the fishery.