Cyphocarax gilbert (Szidat, L., 1948) is a fish commonly found in coastal drainage of eastern Brazil. This fish is sometimes caught with signs of infection by the crustacean Riggia paranensis, a haematophagous parasite. A remarkable feature of infected fish is that they lack gonads. In this paper we have analysed the frequency of parasitism, the gonadal development of non-infected fish and the profile of plasma proteins in both infected and non-infected specimens. Two reproductive periods/year were observed, beginning in February and August. On average, 40% of fish were infected, in the Itabapoana River (Brazil). Sex-specific proteins were identified by electrophoresis. SDS-PAGE analysis demonstrated that a 143 kDa female-specific glycolipoprotein (FSP) is a calcium-binding phosphoprotein. FSP was isolated through ultracentrifugation and SDS-PAGE analysis showed that the native protein is composed of three polypeptides of 143, 100 and 70 kDa. Both FSP and a 33 kDa male-specific protein (MSP) are absent from infected fish plasma. FSP levels in female plasma changes with the developmental stage of gonads. Altogether these data suggest that the FSP corresponds to fish vitellogenin. Furthermore, the absence of the above-mentioned proteins in infected fish suggests that R. paranensis might interfere with the regular hormonal process of fish vitellogenesis.