No common name

Kronborgia amphipodicola

ORDER Rhabdocoela

FAMILY

Fecampiidae

TAXONOMY

Kronborgia amphipodicola Christensen and Kanneworff, 1964, 0resund, Denmark.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Parasitic in Ampelisca macrocephala; have separate sexes; males are cylindrical red worms, 0.12-0.20 in (3-5 mm) long, lack eyes, mouth, pharynx, and intestine, but possess distinctive gonopore at one end, active and able to swim using cilia; females white with no gonopore, also lack eyes and gut, 1.5 in (40 mm) long, fragile, sluggish and unable to swim.

DISTRIBUTION

Host occurs through out the North Atlantic Ocean. It is not known whether it infects A. macrocephala throughout its range. It has only been identified from the northeast Atlantic area.

HABITAT

Males occur in hemocoel and females wrap themselves around the intestine of host.

BEHAVIOR

Each host only harbors either male or female worms.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Most likely feed on host blood and gut contents.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Dioecious, separate sexes. Males and females leave host at the site of the anus by dislodgement of the intestine. Females immediately secrete cocoon longer than its body using epidermal glands; cocoon attaches to host amphipod tube. One or more males enter cocoon through trumpet-shaped opening and inseminate females most likely by hypodermal impregnation. After laying numerous capsules, weakened female crawls out of cocoon and dies. Cocoon morphology is quite elaborate and host specific. Ciliated larvae hatch in 50-60 days and are able to continue swimming searching for a host for two to three days. Larvae have two rhabdomeric eyes for detecting light. After contacting a host's carapace, larvae encyst in five minutes. They produce concentrated enzymes that create a small hole in carapace where larva enters host and migrates to the hemocoel.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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