Saturday, 28 December 2013

A new species of Pennellid Copepod from the East China Sea.

Pennellid Copepods are small parasitic Crustaceans that live with their bodies almost entirely buried within the bodies of Fish or Whale hosts, with only the egg sacks and the tip of the abdomen visible from the exterior. Like many parasites their bodies have become much reduced, and do not obviously resemble those of other Copepods, or even other Crustaceans.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 29 November 2012, Daisuke Uyeno of the Faculty of Science at the University of the Ryukyus, Kaori Wakabayashi of the Faculty of Marine Science at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and Kazuya Nagasawa of the Graduate School of Biosphere Science at Hiroshima University, describe a new species of Pennellid Copepod from Rattails (Grenadiers) from the East China Sea.

The new species is placed in the genus Sarcotretes, which mainly infects mid- and deepwater benthic Fish, and given the specific name umitakae, in honour of the Umitaka-maru, a training and research vessel of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. Sarcotretes umitakae was found infecting Rattails (Grenadiers) of the species Coelorinchus jordani (a deepwater Fish related to Cod and Hake) off the Tokara Islands in the East China Sea. The species is described from three female specimens, the male being unknown.

 (A) Two specimens of the Rattail Coelorinchus jordani infected with Sarcotretes umitakae. Scale bar is 20 mm. (B) Detail of Sarcotretes umitakae. Scale bar is 3 mm. Uyeno et al. (2012).

Line drawing of  Sarcotretes umitakae showing the entire animal. Scale bar is 3 mm.  Uyeno et al. (2012).


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