The parasite fauna of 4 intertidal grapsid crabs from New Zealand was studied between 1998 and 2000. The occurrence of an undescribed entoniscid species, Portunion sp. (Isopoda: Epicaridea), is presented. Portunion sp. was found in Cyclograpsus lavauxi (34.1%, n = 1,650), Hemigrapsus crenulatus (19.0%, n = 2,300), and Helice crassa (11.6%, n = 825) but was absent from Hemigrapsus sexdentatus (n = 636). Parasitized hosts contained mostly 1 female Portunion sp. but occasionally up to 7 females were found. One to 3 dwarf males typically occurred on each mature female Portunion sp. Most developmental stages of female Portunion sp. were found throughout the year, demonstrating that reproduction and infection occurred continuously. Portunion sp. differentially affected male and female hosts. Prevalence was generally higher in male hosts than in female hosts and increased significantly with host size. Female hosts were castrated, whereas males were not. Portunion sp., therefore, influenced the operational sex ratio in its host species, causing a more male-biased ratio.

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