International Journal for Parasitology vol:25 issue:12 pages:1401-11
Two species of Lernaeocera are present in the southeastern North Sea. Lernaeocera lusci infects bib Trisopterus luscus, dragonet Callionymus lyra and sand goby Pomatoschistus minutas. L. minuta is a junior synonym of L. lusci. The second valid species, L. branchialis, infects whiting Merlangius merlangus. The two species can be morphologically separated by the antennary processes, which are present in L. lusci and absent in L. branchialis. Discriminant functions allow complete separation between L. lusci and L. branchialis. There is high intraspecific, host-dependent variability within L. lusci. Length of L. lusci is significantly influenced by host size, and body form is influenced by the site of attachment of L. lusci on at least one host (bib). It is suggested that L. lusci consists of 3 forms: f. lusci, f. minuta and f. lyra.