Nikhila R.M.V.1, Drisya O.K.2, Rijin K.2, Mumthaz T.M.V.2, Helna A.K.2, Ivanenko V.N.3, Kappalli S.1 2019. Copepod crustaceans parasitizing marine fish of the Kerala coast, India // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.28. No.4: 529–544 [in English].

1 Department of Animal Science, School of Biological Sciences, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, 671316, Kerala, India. E-mail:

2 Post Graduate Department of Zoology and Research Centre, Sree Narayana College, Kannur, 670007, Kerala, India.

3 Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia.

doi: 10.15298/arthsel. 28.4.05

ABSTRACT: Copepods parasitizing marine fish were collected along the Cochin and Malabar coasts (Kerala, India) of the Indian Ocean from July 2013 through February 2019. One hundred species of copepods from 31 genera in eight families, were found living on 85 species fish represented 65 genera in 34 families. Copepods of the order Siphonostomatoida were the dominant parasites; they belonged to five families (Caligidae, Lernaeopodidae, Lernanthropidae, Pennellidae, and Pseudocycnidae), of which Caligidae and Lernanthropidae were the most diverse, comprising 29 species each (in eight and five genera, respectively). The genera Caligus and Lernanthropus, with 20 and 21 species, respectively, are the most diverse genera of siphonostomatoid copepods. All 26 species in nine genera of the poecilostome cyclopoids belong to the families Bomolochidae, Chondracanthidae and Ergasilidae. The great diversity of parasitic copepods living on fish suggests a need for a more thorough integrative study of the diversity, host specificity and ecology of these copepods, not only from fish along the Kerala coasts, but also along the other coasts of India.

KEY WORDS: parasitic copepod, Siphonostomatoida, Cyclopoida, fish, Kerala, India.

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