Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
A new species of parasitic dinoflagellate is described from the portunid crab Portunus pelagicus. The dinoflagellate is a member of the genus Hematodinium which formerly consisted of a single species, H. perezi. Members of the genus have been reported in crabs and lobsters from Europe and North America, where in some circumstances they cause significant mortalities to host populations. The new species is the first member of the family Syndinidae to be fully described from Australia. The new species differs from other forms of Hematodinium primarily by the size of the trophont (vegetative stage), the ovoid plasmodium, and the small beaded form of condensed chromatin in the nucleus. Infection experiments indicated that the parasite may be transmitted within and between the 2 host species. in addition, the pre-patent period of the new form was at least 16 d which is much greater than that reported from other forms.
Hudson, DA and Shields, Jeffrey D., Hematodinium-Australis N-Sp, a parasitic dinoflagellate of the sand crab Portunus-pelagicus from Moreton Bay, Australia (1994). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 19(2), 109-119.