Rare Report of Bryozoan Fouling of Rock Lobsters (Jasus edwardsii: Decapoda: Palinuridae) from the North Island of New Zealand

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Publication Date



Earth Sciences



Publication Title

New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research


Bryozoan epibiosis on lobster hosts is rarely reported. Here we document bryozoan fouling of the spiny rock lobster Jasus edwardsii from the Hauraki Gulf, North Island of New Zealand. The 92 lobsters in this study came from the Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve. The lobsters were measured for size and weight, sexed, scanned for epibionts, and photographed. Forty-two per cent of the lobsters were fouled by epibionts, but only 9% by bryozoans, and they were all males. The bryozoans were all cheilostome gymnolaemates. Only erect colonies were found on the dorsal carapace, and only encrusting colonies were found on the ventral surface. Two of the erect colonies were found in gaping exposed wounds through the exterior wall into the branchial chamber. In addition to host wounds, differences in frequency and location of fouling bryozoan colonies were also attributed to time since last moult and grooming. This epibiosis is interpreted as more of a one-sided commensal symbiotic relationship, perhaps best described as phoretic (i.e. hitchhiking relationship).


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