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ISCHNOCHITONIKA LASALLIANA, NEW GENUS, NEW SPECIES (COPEPODA), A PARASITE OF TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC CHITONS (POLYPLACOPHORA: ISCHNOCHITONIDAE)

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ABSTRACT A copepod parasite, Ischnochitonika lasalliana, new genus, new species, is described from the polyplacophoran mollusks Ischnochiton striolatus (Gray, 1828) from Isla de Margarita, Venezuela, and Stenoplax boogi (Haddon, 1886) from southeast of Pensacola, Florida, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The female, which resides in the chiton's branchial cavity, is characterized by a swollen, laterally elongate ectosoma and a bifurcated tubular endosoma that extends through the host's visceral cavity. Egg masses are attached to the lateral aspects of the ectosoma and are composed of grapelike clusters of variable size and egg number. The much smaller sexually dimorphic males exhibit 2 pairs of anterior processes. Multiple males characteristically are found with each female. Copepods have not been reported previously as parasites of chitons. Due to the lack of external morphological characters typical of many parasitic copepods, the phylogenetic position of Ischnochitonika lasalliana is uncertain.

10.1163/193724090X00438
/content/journals/10.1163/193724090x00438
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724090x00438
2017-11-18

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