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Caligid Copepods (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida: Caligidae) as Zooplankters off the Venezuelan Coast, Western Caribbean Sea

Abstract

During a survey of the zooplankton community of a coastal system on the northern coast of Venezuela western Caribbean, female and male specimens of species of Caligus Müller, 1785 were collected. We obtained four species: C. littoralis Luque and Cezar 2000, C. evelynae Suárez-Morales et al. ZooKeys 201: 59–71, (2012a), C. praetextus Bere Amer Midl Nat 17: 577–625, (1936), and C. rufimaculatus Wilson, 1932. The male of the former species remained unknown and we present herein its first illustrated description. Caligus littoralis is the 13th species of Caligus known from waters of the Venezuelan coasts and the 60th species of the genus recorded in the Neotropical region. The specimens examined were caught exclusively from the plankton, their hosts remain unknown; this is not rare among a group of caligids that are chiefly found as planktonic forms. They are deemed to represent an alternative mode of life recently revealed as being more common among caligid copepods than previously thought.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all technical,professional. And institutional support and assistance provided during the sampling of the zooplankton community in the Gulf of Cariaco.

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Correspondence to Eduardo Suárez-Morales.

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We hereby declare that there was no conflict of interests during any part of the planification or development of this joint collaboration.

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Kim, IH., Suárez-Morales, E. & Márquez-Rojas, B. Caligid Copepods (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida: Caligidae) as Zooplankters off the Venezuelan Coast, Western Caribbean Sea. Thalassas 35, 607–618 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41208-019-00130-w

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Keywords

  • Parasitic copepods.
  • Marine zooplankton
  • Crustacean taxonomy