Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Proceedings of the National Shellfisheries Association
Dermocystidium marinum, a parasitic fungus of oysters, was demonstrated from the stomach of the snail, Urosalpinx cinerea, from the stomach, intestine, and body of three fishes, Gobiosoma bosci, Chasmodes bosquianus, and Opsanus tau, and from the body, especially setae, of two crabs, Neopanope texana and Rhithropanopeus harrisii. All animals containing D. marinum had scavenged oysters infected by the fungus. A few oysters became lightly infected when kept in aquaria with fishes that ·had been fed infected oyster tissue. In one tidal inlet of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, Eurypanopeus depressus was the most abundant scavenger, followed by Nassarius vibex, Gobiosoma bosci, and Panopeus herbstii. Killed oysters on this reef were consumed by scavengers in less tiian one day in temperatures over 24 C. At temperatures above 18 C, dead oyster tissue never remained long enough to decay. Theoretical methods of transmission of D. marinum by scavengers are discussed. It is concluded that nearly aIl dying oysters are consumed by animals during periods of normal mortality, so their parasites must pass through the digestive systems of scavengers.
Hoese, Hinton D., Studies on oyster scavengers and their relation to the fungus Dermocystidium marinum (1964). Proceedings of the National Shellfisheries Association, 53, 161-174.