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On the development of a parasitic copepod, Lamproglena clariae Fryer, 1956 (Copepoda, Lernaeidae) infecting the sharp tooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus

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The postembryonic development of the gill parasite, Lamproglena clariae, infecting the sharp tooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus was established from egg culture and artificial infection of fish under laboratory conditions. Like most fish parasitic copepods, L. clariae has a direct life cycle utilizing only a single fish host species. Adult post metamorphosis females produce two egg strings. The mean number of eggs in each egg string was 52. Three naupliar and first copepodid stages were obtained in culture while two copepodid stages, cyclopoid and adult specimens were obtained after artificial infection of catfish in aquaria. First stage nauplii were globular in shape and densely filled with yolk. Nauplii lacked a perforation for the mouth and masticatory parts of the appendages, all of which indicate that they do not feed. Body architecture of the first copepodid stage of L. clariae is similar to that of all other copepods in the number and kind of somites: a cephalothorax with five appendages, three thoracic somites, one abdominal somite and furca rami. This seems to be a conserved morphology among the copepods. The three naupliar and three copepodid stages are described and compared to related copepods.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa


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