The effect of the branchiobdellid annelid Cambarincola fallax on the growth rate and condition of the crayfish Orconectes rusticus

TitleThe effect of the branchiobdellid annelid Cambarincola fallax on the growth rate and condition of the crayfish Orconectes rusticus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsKeller TAllen
JournalJournal of Freshwater Ecology
Volume7
Issue2
Pagination165-171
KeywordsPARASITES
Abstract

This study investigated the effect of branchiobdellids (Annelida: Clitella) on crayfish growth and stamina. A 115-day lab investigation showed that the branchiobdellid Cambarincola fallax did not decrease the growth rates nor lower the stamina of its host crayfish Orconectes rusticus. Among crayfish originally given 15 worms, there was a significant, positive correlation between final host size (carapace length P<0.05 and wet weight P<0.01) and number of branchiobdellids found. No correlation existed between the number of molts observed and branchiobdellid number. These results support the hypotheses that C. fallax has a commensal association with O. rusticus and that host molting is a critical time for branchiobdellids.