CLASSIFICATION OF BOPYRUS
PHYLUM :- ARTHROPODA (Jointed appendages.)
CLASS :- CRUSTACEA (Exoskeleton thick, antennae 2 pairs, jaws 3 pairs.)
SUB-CLASS :- MALACOSTRACA (Free-living Crustacea with compound eyes, biramous antennules. mandibles. 8 thoracic and 6 abdominal segments having appendages.)
ORDER :- ISOPODA (Carapace absent; body dorsoventrally flattened.)
GENUS :- Bopyrus
It has cosmopolitan distribution.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Bopyrus belonging to family Bopyridae inhabits the gill chambers (branchial cavity) of the prawns.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF BOPYRUS
- Parasitic isopod exhibiting extra ordinary sexual dimorphism .
- Adult female is greatly deformed bopyrid with an asymmetric body and without distinct segmentation. It has following characters :
- Body is more or less oval.
- It has suctorial mouth parts with simple piercing mandibles.
- Maxillipedes are widely expanded covering the head appendages in front.
- Large lamellar or oostegites develop from the bases of the thoracic limbs and form a brood pouch. Seven pairs of thoracic legs are short and hooked for attachment.
- The abdominal appendages are plate-like functioning as gills.
- Dwarf male is usually found attached to the female beneath the last pair of oostegites. It is more isopodian since it normally possesses developed thoracic and abdominal appendages.
The life cycle is completed involving two arthropods. First host is copepod and second decapod Crustacea. Actually Bopyrus is a protandric hermaphrodite. Its larval stage is actually a functional male but when it assumes the parasitic habit, it loses the male organization and becomes a female.
The parasite has expanded maxillipedes Bopyrus.