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Free Content Distribution of Indo-Pacific Myzostoma and Host Specificity of Comatulid-Associated Myzostomida

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About 113 species of Myzostoma, induding at least 26 undescribed ones, are recorded from the non-austral parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Most of these are Pacific; only seven species are Indian Ocean endemics and 12 occur in both oceans. Three Indo-Pacific species also confidently occur in the Atlantic. The most diverse collections have been made in the Philippines (30 species), Japan (27), the Moluccas (26), Queensland (20), and the Northem Territory (17). The distribution of some species-groups and of 21 relatively well-sampled species is analysed. Some North Pacific species are amphiboreal or have amphiboreal affinities. The species assemblages in Japan, Micronesia, and the Northern Territory overlap comparatively little with the widespread Indo-West Pacific fauna of the Indian Ocean, Philippines, Moluccas, Queensland, and Fiji. Worldwide, 136 comatulid species are known to be myzostome hosts (70 new records), but taxonomically they are not distributed evenly. The Comasterida, Mariametrida, and some subfamilies of the Antedonidae are the most prone to infestation. Usually one to three but up to seven myzostome species infest a given comatulid species. Some well-sampled myzostomes are host-specific at the species, genus, or family level, but others have up to 10 taxonomically diverse hosts. Therefore, myzostomes may be only partly reliable biological tags for crinoid populations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1990

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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