The velvet swimming crab Necora puber has been fished in Ireland since the early 1980s and contributes significant income to smaller fishing vessels. From 2016 onwards, reduced landings have been reported. We undertook a full pathological investigation of crabs from fishing grounds at 3 sites on the west (Galway), southwest (Castletownbere) and east (Howth) coasts of Ireland. Histopathology, transmission electron microscopy and molecular taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses showed high prevalence and infection level of Paramarteilia canceri, previously only reported from the edible crab Cancer pagurus. This study provides the first molecular data for P. canceri, and shows its phylogenetic position in the order Paramyxida (Rhizaria). Other parasites and symbionts detected in the crabs were also noted, including widespread but low co-infection with Hematodinium sp. and a microsporidian consistent with the Ameson and Nadelspora genera. This is the first histological record of Hematodinium sp. in velvet crabs from Ireland. Four N. puber individuals across 2 sites were co-infected by P. canceri and Hematodinium sp. At one site, 3 velvet crabs infected with P. canceri were co-infected with the first microsporidian recorded from this host; the microsporidian 18S sequence was almost identical to Ameson pulvis, known to infect European shore crabs Carcinus maenas. The study provides a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of this and all other available Ameson and Nadelspora 18S sequences. Together, these findings provide a baseline for further investigations of N. puber populations along the coast of Ireland.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Diseases of Aquatic Organisms|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Apr 2022|
- Ameson pulvis
- Cancer pagurus
- Paramarteilia orchestiae