Protoraphis Simonsen, a newly recorded marine epizoic diatom genus for China
Epizoic diatoms on marine copepods are common in nature and may have a special ecological relationship with their hosts. However, this special ecological group is not well known, and it has only rarely been studied in the China seas. To address this knowledge gap, the species diversity and classification of epizoic diatoms on planktonic copepods were studied with samples collected from the East China Sea. In the present study, a marine araphid diatom genus Protoraphis and its type species, Pr. hustedtiana, were observed and identified by light and electron microscopy, thus representing the first record of this genus and its type species in China. This genus is characterized by a median sternum strongly bent to opposite sides and terminate in two transapical grooves at the valve ends. Protoraphis hustedtiana was found to be epizoic on the posterior body appendages and segments of the marine calanoid copepod Candacia bradyi. An internal view shows a complex, ear-shaped process that is close to the apical slit field. The ecological habitats and geographical distributions of Protoraphis were also discussed, and, together with complementary morphological studies, our results have increased the number of records for marine epizoic diatoms to three genera with three species in China, including Pseudohimantidium and Pseudofalcula.
Key wordsmarine epizoic diatom copepod Protoraphis newly recorded genus ear-shaped process
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We thank Caiming Wu and Luming Yao from the Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Xiamen University, for providing assistance with SEM observation. We also thank David Martin for his assistance with language editing.
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