Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 29(1): 93-99, doi: 10.3750/AIP1999.29.1.08
The food of Branchiobdella Odier, 1823 (Annelida) dwelling on crayfish and the occurrence of the fish parasite Argulus Müller, 1785 (Crustacea) on the carapace of Pontastacus leptodactylus (Esch.)
expand article infoJ. Wierzbicka, P. Śmietana
Open Access
Gut content of Branchiobdella spp. was examined in 83-945 individuals belonging to 4 species, collected from 31 individuals of Astacus astacus (L.) and 12 individuals of Pontastacus leptodactylus (Esch.) from north-western and southern Poland. The results show the food of B. hexodonta Gruber, 1883 dwelling in the crayfish gill cavity to include fragments of the crayfish gills, which identifies the species as a parasite. In contrast, B. parasita Henle, 1835, B. kozarovi Subchev, 1978 and B. balcanica sketi Karaman, 1967 are found on the external covers of the crayfish are not parasitic. They feed on diverse items derived from the ambient environment and are thus epibiontic. Cannibalism was observed in all the species examined. Neither cannibalism nor the presence of larvae-containing cocoons of Argulus foliaceus (L.) (Branchiura), a fish parasite, on the crayfish carapace has been recorded in the literature so far.