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Tung, C. H.; Cheng, Y. R. (2014). A new copepod with transformed body plan and unique phylogenetic position parasitic in the acorn worm Ptychodera flava. Biological Bulletin. 226-1: 69-80.
Tung, C. H.; Cheng, Y. R.
A new copepod with transformed body plan and unique phylogenetic position parasitic in the acorn worm <i>Ptychodera flava</i>.
Biological Bulletin
226-1: 69-80
The World Of Copepods (T. Chad Walter)
The World Of Copepods (T. Chad Walter)
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Symbiotic copepods compose one-third of the known copepod species and are associated with a wide range of animal groups. Two parasitic copepods endoparasitic in acorn worms (Hemichordata), Ive balanoglossi and Ubius hilli, collected in the Mediterranean Sea and Australian waters, respectively, were described a century ago. Here we report a new parasitic copepod species, Ive ptychoderae sp. nov., found in Ptychodera flava, a widespread acorn worm in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and an emerging organism for developmental and evolutionary studies. The female of I. ptychoderae is characterized by having a reduced maxilliped and five pairs of annular swellings along the body that are morphologically similar but distinguishable from those in the two previously described parasitic copepods in acorn worms. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rDNA sequence shows that I. ptychoderae may belong to Poecilostomatoida but represent a new family, which we name Iveidae fam. nov. Ive ptychoderae is commonly found in the acorn worm population with an average prevalence of 42% during the collecting period. The infection of the parasite induces the formation of cysts and causes localized lesions of the host tissues, suggesting that it may have negative effects on its host. Interestingly, most cysts contain a single female with one or multiple male copepods, suggesting that their sex determination may be controlled by environmental conditions. The relationships between the parasitic copepods and acorn worms thus provide a platform for understanding physiological and ecological influences and coevolution between parasites and hosts.
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