Larval Mycosis of Shrimp and Prawns


Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Larval mycosis, Fungus disease, Lagenidium or Sirolipidium disease.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Lagenidium callinectes

Lagenidium spp., and Sirolpidium spp. Other phycomycetous fungi such as Phythium spp., Leptolegnia marina, and Haliphthoros milfordensis may also occassionally cause the disease.

Geographic distribution


Host species

All penaeids especially in zoea and mysis stages as well as Pandalus platyceros under experimental culture conditions. Other marine crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs can also be infected.

Impact on the host

Extensive non-septate highly branched fungal mycelia throughout the body and appendages, replacing all the tissue. Specialised hyphae may protrude through the cuticle. Epizootics develop within 2-3 days; invariably lethal.

Diagnostic techniques

Wet Mounts or Histology: If necessary, the fungus can be identified by examining the method of sporogenesis and the morphology of spore discharge tube.

Culture: In vitro on marine mycological media; sporulation induced by transfer to seawater.

Methods of control

Control by disinfecting tanks and equipment and incoming water. There is speculation that antibiotic use to control bacteria may enhance larval mycosis by removing bacterial epibiont competitors.


Lightner, D.V. 1983. Diseases of cultured penaeid shrimp. In: J.P. McVey (ed.). Handbook of Mariculture. Crustacean Aquaculture. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, p. 289-320.

Lightner, D.V. 1988. Larval mycosis of penaeid shrimp. In: C.J. Sindermann and D.V. Lightner (eds.). Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Marine Aquaculture. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science 17. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 58-63.

Lightner, D.V. (ed.). 1996. A Handbook of Shrimp Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures for Disease of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge.

Lightner, D.V. and C.T. Fontaine. 1973. A new fungus disease of the white shrimp Penaeus setiferus. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 22: 94­99.

Natividad, J.M. and D.V. Lightner. 1992. Prevalence and geographic distribution of MBV and other diseases in cultured giant tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon) in the Philippines. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 139-160.

Shariff, M. and R.P. Subasinghe. 1992. Major diseases of cultured shrimp in Asia: an overview. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 37-46.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M. (1996): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Larval Mycosis of Shrimp and Prawns.

Date last revised: Fall 1996
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: