Thursday 9 January 2014

A new species of Poecilostomatoid Copepod associated with Ghost Shrimps off the coast of Brazil.

Poecilostomatoid Copepods a minute parasitic Crustaceans that live externally on their hosts, which can be Fish, Molluscs, Echinoderms or other Crustaceans. Most Poecilostomatoid Copepods are marine, though some species are freshwater, and some species are known from hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and anchialine caves (coastal cave systems with variable salinity). One group of Poecilostomatoid Copepods have become endoparasitic, living inside their hosts. The eggs are carried by the female until they hatch, whereupon the larvae, which do not resemble the adults, are released to live a planktonic life. Upon reaching maturity these larvae find a new host to which to attach, then metamorphose into adults.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 24 September 2013, Terue Kihara of the German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Carlos Rocha of the Departamento de Zoologia at the Instituto de Biociências at the Universidade de São Paulo describe a new species of Poecilostomatoid Copepod from the coast of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

The new species is placed in the genus Clausidium, and given the specific name rodriguesi, in honour of Sérgio Rodrigues of the Universidade de São Paulo. Clausidium rodriguesi is described from four female and two male specimens gathered from Ghost Shrimps (Neocallichirus grandimana) living in burrows close to the margin of the Potengi River, off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte State in northeast Brazil. The specimens were 1.36-1.40 mm in length.

Confocal laser scanning microscopy images of a female specimen of Clausidium rodriguesi in (left) dorsal and (right) ventral views. Kihara & Rocha (2013).

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