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Reported Siphonostomatoid Copepods Parasitic on Marine Fishes of Southern Africa

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Worldwide there are more than 12000 species of copepods known, of which 4224 are symbiotic. Most of the symbiotic species belong to two orders, Poecilostomatoida (1771 species) and Siphonostomatoida (1840 species). The order Siphonostomatoida currently consists of 40 families that are mostly marine and infect invertebrates as well as vertebrates. In a report on the status of the marine biodiversity of South Africa, parasitic invertebrates were highlighted as taxa about which very little is known. A list was compiled of all the records of siphonostomatoids of marine fishes from southern African waters (from northern Angola along the Atlantic Ocean to northern Mozambique along the Indian Ocean, including the west coast of Madagascar and the Mozambique channel). Quite a few controversial reports exist that are discussed. The number of species recorded from southern African waters comprises a mere 9% of the known species.


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