Lagenidium sp. (Fungus Disease) of Lobsters


Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Lagenidium disease, Fungus disease.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Phycomycetous fungus, similar to Lagenidium callinectes of crabs and shrimp.

Geographic distribution

California (cultured larval lobsters). Not yet observed on the east coast of Canada but is probably present.

Host species

Homarus americanus and Homarus gammarus (=vulgaris); there are widespread reports that this fungus affects other crustaceans including shrimp, prawns and crabs.

Impact on the host

Penetrates and fills larvae with mycelia giving a white, opaque appearance. Lethal.

Diagnostic techniques

Gross Observations: Appendages or body filled with white mycelia, vegetative fruiting structures visible under dissecting microscope.

Culture: On saline mycological media. Microscopy may be necessary for specific indentification.

Methods of control

Disease probably related to poor husbandry and can be prevented by enhanced cleanliness.


Brock, J.A. and D.V. Lightner. 1990. Diseases of Crustacea. Diseases caused by microorganisms. In: O. Kinne (ed.). Diseases of Marine Animals. Volume III: Introduction, Cephalopoda, Annelida, Crustacea, Chaetognatha, Echinodermata, Urochordata. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Hamburg, p. 328-334.

Fisher, W.S. 1988. Fungus (Lagenidium) disease of lobsters. In: C.J. Sindermann and D.V. Lightner (eds.). Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Aquaculture. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science 17. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 247-250.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M., McGladdery, S.E., Price, I.M. (1994): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Lagenidium sp. (Fungus Disease) of Lobsters.

Date last revised: Fall 1994
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: