Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 161, Issue 4, pp 441–449 | Cite as

Biochemical composition of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba in relation to age and starvation

  • Birgit Dittrich


Hyperia galba was collected in the waters around Helgoland and in the Weser-Elbe-estuary during autumn. Its mode of life is a temporary but obligatory parasitism. The basal biochemical composition of the adults was analyzed in detail and related to the fresh, dry, and ash-free dry weight as well as sex and body length. Hyperia galba (males/females) consists of 85/86% water; the dry matter contains approximately 64/61% protein, 10/11% lipid, 1.2/1.5% carbohydrate, 10/8% chitin, and 23/23% ash. The analyses of basal elemental composition yielded approximately 38% C, 9% N and 6% H. Under natural conditions, individuals may encounter at least two periods of food shortage during their lives. Therefore, the analyses were carried out on individuals of different developmental stages also under food deprivation. The data are discussed with respect to the special mode of life of the species and compared with those found by other authors in several related crustacean species.

Key words

Hyperiid amphipods Chemical composition Energy content Parasitism Starvation effects 



ash-free dry weight


body length


dry weight


standard deviation


wet weight


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birgit Dittrich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (Meeresstation)HelgolandFederal Republic of Germany

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