Reproductive Biology

External sac has branched ovaries and a pair of male sperm receptacles. A male cyprid swims into the female's body. After attachment, male extrudes its whole cell content into the female. Male takes up residence and its function is to produce sperm. Fertilization and brooding occur in the externa; nauplii hatch out of the eggs, pass through four naupliar stages. One parasite can release many broods during one season, but the peak of reproduction is during summer; there is a rest period in the winter. The period of incubation is 12-35 days; after 10 days the parasite settles. Female cyprids attach to the base of their host's bristles. Females abandon their limbs, thorax, mantle, and carapace, and develop a curved stylet through which their cells pass into the host's body. After an internal phase, which can last up to 3 years, females produce an externa, attracting male cyprids.


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