Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 1545–1555 | Cite as

Antarctic associations: the parasitic relationship between the gastropod Bathycrinicola tumidula (Thiele, 1912) (Ptenoglossa: Eulimidae) and the comatulid Notocrinus virilis Mortensen, 1917 (Crinoidea: Notocrinidae) in the Ross Sea

  • S. Schiaparelli
  • C. Ghirardo
  • J. Bohn
  • M. Chiantore
  • G. Albertelli
  • R. Cattaneo-Vietti
Original Paper


The first case of parasitic association between an eulimid mollusc (Gastropoda, Ptenoglossa) and a comatulid (Echinodermata: Crinoidea) is reported for Antarctica. The mollusc involved in the association is Eulima tumidula Thiele, 1912, which has now been ascribed to the genus Bathycrinicola Bouchet & Warén, 1986, never recognized before in Antarctica. This genus is present only in the NE Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and encompass species which are specific parasites of the sessile stalked crinoids of the family Bathycrinidae. However, in Antarctica, Bathycrinicola tumidula (Thiele, 1912) exploits the endemic vagile comatulid Notocrinus virilis Mortensen, 1917, and attains the largest known dimensions (∼1 cm) for a Bathycrinicola species. The absence of suitable Bathycrinidae host in modern Antarctic benthic assemblages, as well as the long paleontological history of the genus Notocrinus in Antarctica, suggest a possible ‘host-switch’ phenomenon. This event could reasonably have occurred when many species underwent considerable bathymetric shifts, during the dramatic climatic changes that affected Antarctica.


Southern Ocean Brood Pouch Calcareous Plate Cirrus Socket Antarctic Benthos 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Marine research activities and development of the latitudinal gradient project along Victoria Land, Antarctica, have been jointly supported by Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries (MFish), National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research (NIWA), and the Italian Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA). We are extremely grateful to Anders Warén (Swedish Museum of Natural History) for the great help in the classification of B. tumidula and the exchange of ideas about Antarctic eulimids. We wish to thank Bruce Marshall (Te Papa Museum, Wellington, New Zealand) for information about NZ Eulimidae, Kate Neill (NIWA, Wellington) for information about NZ echinoderms and Huw Griffiths (BAS, Cambridge) for his invaluable help with SOMBASE and for sharing information about B. tumidula known distribution. This paper is a contribution to the multi-national Latitudinal Gradient Project and contribution #7 to the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Schiaparelli
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Ghirardo
    • 2
  • J. Bohn
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Chiantore
    • 2
  • G. Albertelli
    • 2
  • R. Cattaneo-Vietti
    • 2
  1. 1.Museo Nazionale dell’Antartide (MNA)Università di GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse (Dip.Te.Ris.)Università di GenovaGenovaItaly
  3. 3.Zoologische Staatssammlung MünchenMünchenGermany

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