New Parasitic Species of Colonial Rhinogradentia

New Parasitic Species of Colonial Rhinogradentia Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2004, p. 150. Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Biologiya Morya, Bukashkina. PRELIMINARY COMMUNICATION V. V. Bukashkina The Institute of Mythozoology of the Academy of Supernatural Sciences For the past several years, my colleagues and I have studied mysterious colonial animals—the parasites of hermit crabs. Their taxonomic position was unclear for a long time until M.I. Kashkina’s recent report on a new colonial nose-walker, Dendronasus sp., [1], which pro- vided us with the idea that the parasite we found in crabs belongs to the marvelous, highly morphologi- cally diverse group of Rhinogradentia discovered by Stümpke [2]. Careful isolation of several parasitic colonies from the host and their subsequent in vitro cultivation in hemolymph obtained from intact hermit crabs provided us with the unique opportunity to make vital photomi- crographs of them, one of which is presented in the fig- ure. The major features of the external anatomy of all blastozooids can be discerned and suggest their relation to the Nose-walkers (order Rhinogradentia). It is note- worthy that the present species possesses traits missing in other nose-walkers, more precisely, the almost com- plete reduction of the limbs, mouth, and the organs of Vital photomicrograph of a fragment of the colony of a new the senses, except for the eyes. A probable explanation parasitic nose-walker. for this is the transition to parasitism resulting in the assimilation of trophic substances from the host hemolymph. Actually, it was the presence of fairly cies identification and establishment of its relation to well- developed eyes that served as the key diagnostic other Rhinogradentia. Thus, the major goal of the this feature suggesting the parasite’s relation to Rhino- report is to congratulate O.M. Ivanova on her 90th anni- gradentia. versary; and the careful reader, on the 1st of April. Therefore, both the morphology and the ecology of Rhinogradentia are highly Diverse and include both REFERENCES sole and colonial species inhabiting both land and sea, with some of them having switched to parasitic life in 1. Kashkina, M.I., Dendronasus sp.—a New Member of marine decapods. the Order Nose- Walkers (Rhinogradentia), Biol. Morya, 2004, vol. 30, no. 2 (present issue). The present communication is essentially prelimi- nary. Further comprehensive studies of the microscopic 2. Stümpke, H., Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia, Stut- anatomy of the parasite are required for its reliable spe- tgart–Jena, 1993. 1063-0740/04/3002-0150 © 2004 åAIä “Nauka / Interperiodica” Russian Journal of Marine Biology Springer Journals

New Parasitic Species of Colonial Rhinogradentia

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2004 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology
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