Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 149-157

First online:

Nectonema zealandica n. sp. (Nematomorpha: Nectonematoidea) parasitising the purple rock crab Hemigrapsus edwardsi (Brachyura: Decapoda) in New Zealand, with notes on the prevalence of infection and host defence reactions

  • George PoinarJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Oregon State University
  • , Annette M. BrockerhoffAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Canterbury

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A new species of marine hairworm, Nectonema zealandica (Nematomorpha: Nectonematoidea), is described from the purple rock crab Hemigrapsus edwardsi Hilgendorf from the South Island, New Zealand. This is the first record of Nectonema in the South Pacific Ocean and the southernmost locality for the genus. The description is based on juveniles and pre-adults taken from crabs. The new species is characterised by its stomal structure, presence of four cephalic papillae, mesenchyme arranged in eight lobes in pre-adults, insertion of muscle layer increasing body diameter at the septum and translucent anterior chamber. Data on the prevalence of infection over a three-year period, rates of parasitism in relation to host sex and size, and host defence reactions are presented. A list of all reported hosts of nectonematids is included.