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On the association between the crab Hapalonotus reticulatus (Crustacea, Brachyura, Eumedonidae) and the sea cucumber Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra (Echinodermata, Holothuridae)
VandenSpiegel, D.; Ovaere, A.; Massin, C. (1992). On the association between the crab Hapalonotus reticulatus (Crustacea, Brachyura, Eumedonidae) and the sea cucumber Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra (Echinodermata, Holothuridae). Bull. K. Belg. Inst. Nat. Wet. 62: 167-177
In: Bulletin. Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Mededelingen. Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen. KBIN: Brussel. ISSN 0368-0177, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • VandenSpiegel, D.
  • Ovaere, A.
  • Massin, C., more

Abstract
    A study of the fauna associated with holothurians from Hansa Bay (Papua New Guinea) reveals a new symbiotic association between the holothuroid Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra and the crab Hapalonotus reticulatus. All the collected holothurians were infested, but with only one crab per holothurian, always in the right respiratory tree near the cloaca. Because of its size, H. reticulatus considerably expands the wall of the respiratory tree forming a membranaceous cyst. This association, therefore, appears to be parasitic. However, the crab does not feed upon host tissue but seems to filter its food from water passing through the respiratory tree of its host. The description of two males allows to comment upon the taxonomical position of H. reticulatus. We classify H. reticulatus in the recently re-established family Eumedonidae. This is the first record of a species of Eumedonia living in association with a holothurian.

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