The determination of the population structure of the barnacle O. lowei present in the branchial chamber of L. spinosa, with the objective of verifying if exists differences in the population structure of the simbiont among the different demographic categories of the host Libinia spinosa, sampled in Caraguatatuba, São Sebastião and Ubatuba shores, north coast of São Paulo state, will be objective of this project. The biological material to be used, originating from the Thematic Project BIOTA/FAPESP "Biodiversidade Bêntica Marinha" pos-doctorate subproject (#01/00886-1), already is find deposited at the laboratory of Zoology, Campus do Litoral Paulista, Unidade São Vicente (sampling period from september/2001 to june/2002). In order to verify the epibionts in the branchial chambers of the hosts, the superior part of the carapace was cut and removed, the gills and epicuticular layer of the hosts that presented infestation were removed and the found epibionts were carefully extracted under optical stereomicroscope and conditioned in identified flasks. The specimes of O. lowei and ciprid larvae will be observed under optical stereomicroscope and measured (length of the capitulum) in system of image analysis. The demographic categories of the epibionts will be defined by morphology of the barnacles (ovigerous individuals, mature individuals, immature individuals and ciprid larvae), as well the settlement stage of the ciprid larvae (competent larvae, recently-seated and in metamorphosis). Will be applied the ANOVA or Kruscal-Wallis tests and G test or Qui-square test to evaluate and to identify abundance differences and frequency occurrence of the different epibiont classes and the size and demographic categories of the host.
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