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Parasitization of a hydrothermal vent limpet (Lepetodrilidae,Vetigastropoda) by a highly modified copepod (Chitonophilidae, Cyclopoida)


Tunnicliffe, V and Rose, JM and Bates, AE and Kelly, NE, Parasitization of a hydrothermal vent limpet (Lepetodrilidae,Vetigastropoda) by a highly modified copepod (Chitonophilidae, Cyclopoida), Parasitology (Cambridge), 135, (Monthly) pp. 1281-1293. ISSN 0031-1820 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0031182008004721


The limpet Lepetodrilus fucensis McLean is very abundant at hydrothermal vents on the Juan de Fuca and Explorer Ridges in the northeast Pacific Ocean. This limpet is parasitized by an undescribed chitonophilid copepod throughout the limpet’s range. The parasite copepodite enters the mantle cavity and attaches to the afferent branchial vein. The initial invasive stage is a vermiform endosome within the vein that develops an extensive rootlet system causing an enlargement of the afferent branchial vein. Subsequently, an ectosomal female body grows outside the vein to sizes up to 2 mm in width. Once a dwarf male attaches, egg clusters form and nauplii are released. In over 3000 limpets examined from 30 populations, prevalence averaged about 5% with localized infections in female limpets over 25%. After the establishment of limpet populations at new vents, copepod prevalence increased over the succeeding months to 3 years. Host effects were marked and included castration of both sexes and deterioration in gill condition which affected both food acquisition and the gill symbiont. There was a significantly greater parasite prevalence in larger females which likely modifies the reproductive and competitive success of local host populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Chitonophilidae, Lepetodrilacea, hydrothermal vent, parasitization, pathogenesis, parasitic copepod castration, host condition, host sex bias
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish pests and diseases
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Bates, AE (Dr Amanda Bates)
ID Code:76486
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2012-03-07
Last Modified:2012-03-26

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