The prevalence and infestation intensities of Octolasmis lowei in the branchial chambers of Libinia spinosa were evaluated according to the host's sex, size, and moult condition. Epibionts were classified as cyprid larvae, non-ovigerous or ovigerous according to their developmental stage. A median intensity of infestation of 21 epibionts/host was found (range = 1–644; Q3 = 81). Epibiont prevalence values (88%) were higher on ovigerous female hosts than on males (55%) or on non-ovigerous females (31%). Intensity of infestation was positively correlated with host size in both sexes for non-ovigerous and ovigerous epibionts. No preference between host sex by cyprid larvae was observed, nor any correlation between cyprid abundance and host size. Cyprid larvae abundance was positively correlated with settled epibionts on both host sexes. The duration of the intermoult phase was the main factor linked to the establishment of sessile epibionts. These observations are important in relation to crabs that have a terminal moult, because these animals cannot eliminate their epibionts in future moults, thus increasing the importance of density-dependent mechanisms on epibiont establishment; in that way, prevalence of infestation alone can underestimate the real impact of infestation on the host's life cycle.