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Species of the genus Periclimenaeus (Decapoda, Caridea, Palaemonidae) associated with sponges from the Veracruz Coral Reef System National Park, SW Gulf of Mexico

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The relationship between the depth of the carapace of shrimps of the genus Periclimenaeus and canal diameter of the sponges Ailochroia crassa, Aplysina fistularis, Callyspongia armigera, Ircinia fistularis, I. strobilina and Sidonops neptuni from Veracruz Coral Reef System National Park, SW Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, were studied. Thirty sponges were collected manually, using SCUBA, and placed underwater in hermetically sealed plastic bags, 1 : 1 formalin/alcohol solution was added to the plastic bags; then the crustaceans were manually removed and fixed in 70% ethanol. Correlations between mean depth of the carapace of a shrimp species and canal diameter of the sponges inhabited by that shrimp species were estimated. The total number of Periclimenaeus shrimps was 108, with three species associated with six species of sponges. The shrimps were found on seven reefs of the coral reef system. The most abundant species of shrimp were P. perlatus and P. wilsoni with 67 and 35 individuals, respectively. In the association of the shrimps with the sponges, P. perlatus was found in 84% of Aplysina fistularis specimens and P. wilsoni was found in 66% of Ircinia fistularis specimens. The deepest carapace was found in the females of P. pearsei with 3.96 ± 0.04 mm. The regression of the depth of the carapace of the shrimps against the canal diameter of the species of sponges showed a positive and significant relationship (P<0.001). These correlations raise the need to explore the full range of morphological and physiological adaptations of species of the genus Periclimenaeus to the sponges they inhabit, and the geographical distribution of Periclimenaeus-sponge interactions is essential to understand how the use of sponge hosts has contributed to the biodiversity of shrimps throughout the SW Gulf of Mexico.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio de Crustáceos, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Av. de los Barrios Numero 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, 54090 Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, Mexico


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