DOI: 10.3390/ani14060877 ISSN: 2076-2615

From Microscale Interactions to Macroscale Patterns in Copepod–Crinoid Symbiosis

Oksana A. Korzhavina, Natalia V. Gubareva, Andrey V. Kitashov, Temir A. Britayev, Viatcheslav N. Ivanenko
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Crinoids (Echinodermata) exhibit unique morphological and behavioral characteristics that facilitate a wide range of symbiotic relationships with diverse organisms. Our comprehension of their interactions with microscopic copepod crustaceans is, however, still in a nascent and fragmented state. Here, we review and discuss the 166 literature records to date in which a total of 39 copepod species in 6 families have been reported in association with 33 species of the crinoid order Comatulida. Many of these associations have been reported just once. The respective localities cover 5 of the World Ocean’s 12 ecoregions, with a notable concentration of both host and symbiont diversity in the Central and Western Indo-Pacific. In contrast, the documentation of copepod–crinoid associations in the Atlantic appears markedly limited. Copepods have been found predominantly in ectosymbiotic relationships with crinoids, with a lower incidence of endosymbiosis. Copepods of the genera Collocheres Canu, 1893 and Pseudanthessius Claus, 1889 are particularly prominent in the list, and the comatulid family Comatulidae displays the most diverse assortment of copepod associations. The current scope of knowledge encompasses a mere 5% of the potential crinoid host diversity, underscoring the need for more extensive research in this area.

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