Dinámica temporal en la relación entre el isópodo parásito Aporobopyrus curtatus (Crustacea: Isopoda: Bopyridae) y el cangrejo anomuro Petrolisthes armatus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Porcellanidae) en el sur de Brasil
The prevalence of the parasite Aporobopyrus curtatus in Petrolisthes armatus from southern Brazil was determined, and the effect the parasite had on host reproduction was evaluated. Of all 775 crabs sampled in Araçá region from March 2005 to July 2006, 3.2% presented bopyrid parasites. All the parasitized individuals had one branchial chamber occupied by two mature parasites, with no preference for the right or left chamber. Male and female hosts were infested in equal proportions. Parasitized juveniles, large individuals and ovigerous females were not found in our study. The absence of parasitized ovigerous females seems to be insufficient evidence to support the hypothesis of parasitic castration and would require a histological study to confirm their reproductive death. The percentage of infestation observed in our study (3.1%) is lower than the one found in other studies and it could indicate the existence of factor(s) regulating the density of A. curtatus in the Araçá region. At least in this population, the low but constant presence of the bopyrid A. curtatus population did not appear to have a negative effect on the porcellanid population, and parasitized individuals did not play a significant role in the natural history of P. armatus.