A Representative of the Genus Dendrogaster (Cirripedia: Ascothoracica) Parasitic in an Antarctic Starfish

  1. Louis S. Kornicker
  1. Mark J. Grygier

Published Online: 16 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR032p0001

Biology of the Antarctic Seas X

Biology of the Antarctic Seas X

How to Cite

Grygier, M. J. (1981) A Representative of the Genus Dendrogaster (Cirripedia: Ascothoracica) Parasitic in an Antarctic Starfish, in Biology of the Antarctic Seas X (ed L. S. Kornicker), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR032p0001

Author Information

  1. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1981

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901763

Online ISBN: 9781118664674



  • Dendrogaster antarcticus—Classification;
  • Dendrogaster—Classification;
  • Starfishes—Parasites;
  • Crustacea—Classification;
  • Crustacea—Antarctica regions—Classification;
  • Eltanin (Ship)


A new ascothoracican parasite of the genus Dendrogaster (herein named D. antarcticus n. sp.) is described from the coelomic cavity of the starfish Acodontaster conspicuus. This is the first Antarctic ascothoracican known. The appendages and external anatomy of males, females, and larvae are described in detail, and the internal anatomy to a lesser degree. The females are large (40-65 mm) and distinguishable from those of other species by the branching pattern of the mantle, which, in this case, involves numerous orders of branching, terminating with one trichotomous order or more, and by the first antennae, upon which are few sensory setae and in which the penultimate joint is shifted ventrally so that the second and fourth joints abut dorsally. Eggs are about 0.5 mm in diameter; a female produces thousands at once. Larvae hatch as bivalved ascothoracids (cyprids) with natatory appendages. They appear to undergo one molt within the female before escaping from the mantle cavity. Males are found in all females; they are quite similar to the larvae, except for a pair of long (4–9 mm) posterior mantle extensions.

Aspects of affinities of Dendrogaster antarcticus to other species of its genus, the functional morphology, the relationship of the parasite to the host, the reproduction and development, and the biogeography are discussed.