Marine Science Faculty Publications

Population Dynamics and Distribution of Neomysis Mercedis and Alienacanthomysis Macropsis (Crustacea: Mysidacea) in Relation to the Parasitic Copepod Hansenulus Trebax in the Columbia River Estuary

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Two species of Columbia River estuary mysids, Neomysis mercedis Holmes and Alienacanthomysis macropsis (Tattersall), were found with a parasitic nicothoid copepod infesting the marsupium of the female mysids. The relationships between the life histories and the spatial and seasonal distributions of the mysids and the ectoparasitic copepod are examined. The remarkably high incidence of parasitism remained stable throughout the year in spite of seasonal fluctuations in the two mysid populations. Neomysis mercedis is an important component in the diet of fishes in other estuaries along the Pacific coast; however, it does not appear to be as important a food resource in the Columbia River estuary. This may be due to the parasite which probably has a significant effect on the population of the mysid hosts.

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Journal of Crustacean Biology, v. 6, issue 4, p. 840-857