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Free Content Copepoda from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

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Copepods belonging to the orders Poecilostomatoida and Siphonostomatoida are described from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the eastern Pacific (Galapagos Rift, East Pacific Rise, Juan de Fuca spreading zone, and Guaymas Basin) and on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26°08.3′N, 44°49.6′W and 23°22.160′N, 44°57.072′W. Based on a study of 44 collections of copepods from deep-sea vents, 27 new copepods are described: POECILOSTOMATOIDA: Clausidiidae: Hyphalion captans new genus, new species; Erebonasteridae new family: Erebonaster protentipes new genus, new species; family uncertain: Laitmatobius crinitus new genus, new species. SIPHONOSTOMATOIDA: Dirivultidae Humes and Dojiri, 1980: Aphotopontius new genus, with the following new species: A. forcipatus, A. arcuatus, A. baculigerus, A. flexispina, A. limatulus, and A. mammillatus; Stygiopontius new genus, with the following new species: S. quadrispinosus, S. cinctiger, S. flexus, S. hispidulus, S. mucroniferus, S. pectinatus, S. sentifer, and S. verruculatus; Exrima new genus, with two new species: E. singula and E. dolichopus; Rhogobius contractus new genus, new species; Scotoecetes introrsus new genus, new species; Ceuthoecetes acanthothrix new species; Ceuthoecetes cristatus new species; Ceuthoecetes introversus new species; Nilva torifera new genus, new species; Ecbathyriontidae new family: Ecbathyrion prolixicauda new genus, new species; family uncertain: Fissuricola caritus new genus, new species. In addition, new records of Ceuthoecetes aliger Humes and Dojiri, 1980, are included.

Although all these copepods are probably associated with invertebrate hosts, only three associations are known with some degree of certainty: Erebonaster protentipes with a Nuculana-like protobranch bivalve, Stygiopontius sentifer with the polychaete Alvinella, and Stygiopontius pectinatus with the shrimps Rimicaris chacei and Rimicaris exoculata. Species of Aphotopontius, Stygiopontius, Exrima, Ceuthoecetes, and Nilva occur in washings of vestimentiferans, the polychaete Alvinella, the gastropod Neomphalus, and the bivalves Bathymodiolus and Calyptogena, but whether there is a real association in these cases between copepod and host is uncertain. The prominent mandibular palp of Erebonaster protentipes is remarkable among the Poecilostomatoida. Only one copepod genus, Stygiopontius, has been found at vents both in the eastern Pacific and on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1987-11-01

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