Characteristics of the association between the marine copepod, gastrodelphys clausii, and its fanworm host bispira volutacornis
Keegan, Brendan F.
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Nash, Róisín; Keegan, Brendan F. (2005). Characteristics of the association between the marine copepod, gastrodelphys clausii, and its fanworm host bispira volutacornis. Helgoland Marine Research 60 (1), 32-38
Characteristics of the association of the marine copepod Gastrodelphys clausii with its fanworm host Bispira volutacornis were investigated from October 1997 to August 1999. Of the 982 hosts examined, 22.6% were infected, with male copepods outnumbering females. Prevalence varied between 3 and 90% during the study period and showed a seasonal pattern with a summer and late autumn/winter peak. Hosts were observed to harbour both single and multiple infections. The aggregation of parasites within the host population was overdispersed, displaying a characteristically clumped pattern. G. clausii reaches adulthood in males at ca. 800 mu m in length, with recorded total lengths extending to 1,875 mu m. Females at maturity were recorded to be ca. 1,000 mu m, with a maximum total length of 3,250 mu m recorded for an ovigerous female. Copepods were mobile within the branchial crown and showed no statistical preference for branchial crowns of different sizes. A positional pattern, however, was observed with juvenile copepods observed to occupy radioles further from the prostomium, as the branchial crown increases the number of radioles in each spiral. Contrary to this, the majority of female copepods were located attached to the radioles closest to the prostomium irrespective of crown size.