Snailfish eggs in the gill cavities of king crabs

Gardner, with the help of colleagues at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, collected DNA samples from egg masses found in the commercially important golden king crab (Lithodes aequispinus) and the closely related scarlet king crab (Lithodes couesi). Mitochondrial DNA was sequenced using embryos sampled from snailfish egg masses and compared with DNA sequences from eggs of positively identified adult voucher specimens from the Burke’s collection.

Surprisingly, the results yielded evidence of four species of Careproctus: C. melanurus, C. colletti, C. furcellus and C. simus. Each egg mass contained eggs from only one species, and appeared to be from a single parent. These results are the first positive identification of the snailfish species responsible for depositing egg masses in lithodid crabs.

Article Source: Burke Museum