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To see or to smell: the role of vision in host-recognition by an ectoparasitic crab
Jossart, Q.; Terrana, L.; De Ridder, C.; Eeckhaut, I.; Monteyne, D.; Caulier, G. (2020). To see or to smell: the role of vision in host-recognition by an ectoparasitic crab. Symbiosis 80(1): 97-101.
In: Symbiosis. Springer: Philadelphia, Pa.. ISSN 0334-5114; e-ISSN 1878-7665
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Echinoidea [WoRMS]; Pinnotheridae De Haan, 1833 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Parasitism; Visual recognition; Pinnotheridae; Echinoids; Behavior; Eye

Authors  Top 
  • Jossart, Q.
  • Terrana, L.
  • De Ridder, C., more
  • Eeckhaut, I.
  • Monteyne, D.
  • Caulier, G.

    Crustaceans are associated with a wide diversity of hosts, using both chemical and visual cues to recognize them. The pea crab Dissodactylus primitivus is an ectoparasite of two species of irregular echinoids living in the Caribbean Sea. Previous studies showed that the crab chemically discriminates its hosts from non-host species. The possibility that the parasite also visually localizes its host was investigated here through behavioral and morphological approaches. The responses of the parasite to visual cues were investigated in aquaria and show a limited visual ability, leading to sheltering rather than to host localization. This suggests that visual cues are not required to maintain the specificity of the parasitism. Microscopical investigations corroborate this conclusion by revealing a pair of small compound eyes mainly localized under the cephalothorax. The ommatidia (facets) were only found on the covered surface (below the cuticle). Interestingly, a lot of setae were observed around or even directly on the eye and might participate in the overall chemical detection.

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