Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 10, pp 2333–2347 | Cite as

Third-stage larva shifts host fish from teleost to elasmobranch in the temporary parasitic isopod, Gnathia trimaculata (Crustacea; Gnathiidae)

  • Yuzo OtaEmail author
  • Osamu Hoshino
  • Mamiko Hirose
  • Katsuhiko Tanaka
  • Euichi Hirose
Original Paper


The life cycle of the fish ectoparasitic isopod Gnathia trimaculata is described based on both field samplings and laboratory observations. Species identification of the larvae was based on morphological observation and supported by molecular analysis. As the results of field samplings in several sites of southwestern and central Japan (24–34°N, 124–139°E) from 2005–2011, approximately 900 third-stage larvae of G. trimaculata were found on 25 elasmobranch species, and 220 first- and second-stage larvae were found on three teleost species. No third-stage larvae were found on the teleosts, and the larvae of younger stages never infested elasmobranchs. Therefore, G. trimaculata is supposed to shift its host from teleosts to elasmobranchs as it develops. We discuss the developmental periods, life span, distribution, and predation risk of the present species compared with other gnathiid species.


Host Fish Gill Chamber mtCOI Sequence Gnathiid Isopod Gnathiid Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Makio Yanagisawa (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium), Hirohito Arima (Izu-Oshima Island) and Mitsuko Chikuchishin (Kagoshima City Aquarium) for providing specimens. Dr. Daisuke Uyeno (University of the Ryukyus) helped us with collecting the specimens. A part of the material examined was collected during the KUMEJIMA 2009 Expedition organized by the Transdisciplinary Research Organization for Subtropical and Island Studies of the University of the Ryukyus, the Center for Marine Bioscience & Biotechnology of the National Taiwan Ocean University, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore, and the Biodiversity Research Center of the Academia Sinica. The expedition operated under a permit granted to Dr. T. Naruse by the Okinawa Prefectural Governor and the Kumejima Fisheries Cooperative. The present study includes the contribution from Shimoda Marine Research Center (No. 758). This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid JSPS Fellows (No. 23-527) (YO), a joint-research in Japanese Association for Marine Biology (YO, KT, and EH), and “International Research Hub Project for Climate Change and Coral Reef/Island Dynamics” from University of the Ryukyus (EH). The authors would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for valuable comments.

Supplementary material

227_2012_2018_MOESM1_ESM.tif (5.8 mb)
Fig. a. b. Rocky shore of Aki-no-hama, Izu-Oshima Island (TIFF 5918 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuzo Ota
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osamu Hoshino
    • 2
  • Mamiko Hirose
    • 3
  • Katsuhiko Tanaka
    • 4
  • Euichi Hirose
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Diving Service ChapOkata, OshimaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Engineering and ScienceUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan
  4. 4.Global Oceanographic Data CenterJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyToyohara, NagoJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan

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