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First Description of Larval Stage 1 from a Non-African Fish Parasite Dolops (Branchiura)

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The genus Dolops is one of only four genera in Branchiura, and as most other members of the group it is also ectoparasitic on freshwater fish. The large majority of investigations of the genus concern the single species of Dolops found in southern Africa, D. ranarum, although most of the remaining species are found in South America. In this paper, we present the first morphological description of the larva of D. carvalhoi using light- and scanning electron microscopy. This is the first detailed account of the larvae of any non-African species of Dolops, and our comparison of the larvae of D. carvalhoi and D. ranarum based on literature data show them to be surprisingly alike. The general implications of these findings are discussed in a phylogenetic context, with special emphasis on the different larval types found in the other genera of Branchiura.

Affiliations: 1: 1Universität Rostock, Rostock, Germany; 2: 2Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, Copenhagen, Denmark


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