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Copépodes Parasites De Madagascar II. - Description De Bot Ulosoma Endoarrhenum N. Gen., N. Sp. (Lichomolgidae) Parasite D'Othilia Purpurea (Echinodermata, Asteridae) ; Étude De Ses Relations Anatomiques Avec L'Hôte

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image of Crustaceana

During an investigation of the copepod parasites of invertebrates at Tuléar (Madagascar), many specimens of a large lichomolgid copepod were collected from Othilia purpurea Gray, a starfish rarely found in that region. These specimens differed in so many respects from other lichomolgid genera that the erection of a new genus seemed justified: Botulosoma nov. gen. for B. endoarrhenum nov. sp. Females live in an integumental cavity of the host while males are free-living in the general coelomic cavity. A hypothesis about the mechanism of host infestation is proposed by the author after histological studies. The thick body wall of Othilia is perforated by gill papules. They might provide to infesting stages of Botulosoma a way to reach the internal cavity. Effectively, traces of papules tissue were still present around the abdomen of adult females of Botulosoma. During infestation, females appear to stay in the papules, while males would cross them, thus reaching the internal cavity.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Génétique Evolutive et de Biométrie du C.N.R.S., 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette, France


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