Contributions to Zoology, 78 (1) - 2009Gregorio Fernandez-Leborans; Yukio Hanamura; Ryon Siow; Phaik-Ean Chee: Intersite epibiosis characterization on dominant mangrove crustacean species from Malaysia

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Epibiosis was studied in dominant mangrove crustacean species in several areas in Malaysia. The observed basibionts were the crustaceans Mesopodopsis orientalis, Acetes japonicus, Acetes sibogae, Acetes indicus and Fenneropenaeus merguiensis and the epibionts found were the protozoan ciliates Acineta branchicola, Lagenophrys eupagurus, Conidophrys pitelkae and Zoothamnium duplicatum. Basibionts from the open sea area (Acetes japonicas) and from a sandy beach of Penang (Mesopodopsis orientalis) showed the lowest epibiont densities. Considering all the colonized anatomical units each basibiont species had a distinct epibiotic distribution and the epibiont species presented a significantly different distribution over each of the basibiont species. In the basibiont M. orientalis a significant difference was observed in epibiotic distribution between populations from different geographical areas. Species sampled on mangrove and offshore areas also differed in this respect The different epibiont species varied among locations according to the structure of the community. We also report on the pattern of epiobiont distribution over the anterioposterior axis of the basibiont, on the influence of physiological characteristics of basibiont and epibiont and on the influence of environmental conditions on the epibiont communities.