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Zoogeography of branchiobdellidans (Annelida) and temnocephalidans (Platyhelminthes) ectosymbiotic on freshwater crustaceans, and their reactions to one another in vitro


The zoogeographical distribution of branchiobdellidans (Annelida) and temnocephalidans (Platyhelminthes), ectosymbiotic on freshwater crustaceans, is reviewed and revised. In the areas where the Holarctic branchiobdellidans and Gondwanian temnocephalidans overlap, distributions of species and their respective hosts are reviewed in detail. Specimens of the branchiobdellid, Branchiobdella astaci, and the scutariellid temnocephalidan, Bubalocerus pretneri, were allowed to meet in vitro on the dorsal carapace of a crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes. This usually resulted in the scutariellid being ingested by a branchiobdellid. Specimens of B. astaci were placed in contact with the host of B. pretneri, Troglocaris sp., a cave-dwelling shrimp and the branchiobdellid immediately moved away from the shrimp.

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Gelder, S.R. Zoogeography of branchiobdellidans (Annelida) and temnocephalidans (Platyhelminthes) ectosymbiotic on freshwater crustaceans, and their reactions to one another in vitro. Hydrobiologia 406, 21–31 (1999).

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  • Annelida
  • branchiobdellidans
  • Platyhelminthes
  • temnocephalidans
  • biogeography
  • interactions