Five new coexisting species of copepod crustaceans of the genus Spaniomolgus (Poecilostomatoida: Rhynchomolgidae), symbionts of the stony coral Stylophora pistillata (Scleractinia)

Mercedes Conradi, Eugenia Bandera, Sofya V. Mudrova, Viatcheslav N. Ivanenko

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2 Scopus citations


Spaniomolgus is a symbiotic genus of copepods of the poecilostomatoid family Rhynchomolgidae and is known to be associated with shallow-water reef-building hermatypic corals. Three species of this genus were previously found only in washings of Acropora and Stylophora in northern Madagascar. Four coral morphotypes of Stylophora pistillata (Pocilloporidae) were collected by SCUBA at 1 to 28 m depth in five sites in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea in 2013. Copepods found on these colonies were studied using light, confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Five new, and one known, species of the genus Spaniomolgus were discovered in washings and inside the galls of the hermatypic coral S. pistillata. The description of these new species (Spaniomolgus globus sp. n., S. stylophorus sp. n., S. dentatus sp. n., S. maculatus sp. n., and S. acutus sp. n.) and a key for the identification of all of its congeners is provided herein.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-95
Number of pages25
Issue number791
StatePublished - Oct 22 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): 1389-CRG1
Acknowledgements: We thank Michael Berumen (KAUST) for organizing the expedition and the crew of the M/Y Dream Island and the KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab for assistance during field work. The authors acknowledge Jessica Bouwmeester (KAUST) for taking photos of the coral skeletons, Alexandra Petrunina (Moscow State University) for helping with using of confocal laser scanning microscope, and Matthew Tietbohl (KAUST) for proofreading, Samuel Gomez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Geoff Boxshall (Natural History Museum, London) for reviewing manuscript and valuable comments. The sampling and research of S.V. Mudrova were supported by award No.1389-CRG1 and baseline funding from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to M.L. Berumen. Scanning electronic microscopy was conducted with support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant 18-04-01192). Confocal microscopy and paper preparation were supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant 18-54-45016). Field work of V.N. Ivanenko was conducted with support of the Russian Science Foundation (grant 14-50-00029). All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements, if applicable.


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