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Vargula Morini, a New Species of Bioluminescent Ostracode (Myodocopida: Cypridinidae) from Belize and an Associated Copepod (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida: Nicothoidae)

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Abstract A new species of bioluminescent ostracode, Vargula morini from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, is described on the basis of morphology and mating displays. Every night, males of V. morini produce an elaborate species-specific bioluminescent courtship display in order to attract females. These displays occur over coral or coral rubble, beginning near the sea surface and continuing as a series of rapid flashes produced in a downward direction. A nicothoid copepod was found living within the posterodorsal area of the valves of some V. morini. Scanning electron micrographs of these minute ostracode parasites are presented here for the first time.

Affiliations: 1: a (ET, correspondence) Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, California 90032, U.S.A. ( ; 2: b (AC) Bodega Marine Laboratory [U.C. Davis], P.O. Box 247, Bodega Bay, California 94923, U.S.A. (


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