Sibling species of copepods in association with Mediterranean gorgorians
Keywords:Mediterranean, octocorals, Copepoda, symbiosis, speciation, new species
Hitherto a single species of Doridicola Leydig (Poecilostomatoida: Rhynchomolgidae) has been found reported in association with gorgonians in Europe: Doridicola botulosus (Stock and Kleeton, 1963), living on the Mediterranean gorgonian Eunicella singularis (Esper, 1791). During a survey along the Iberian Mediterranean coast, several specimens of D. botulosus were collected from its reported host. Furthermore, an undescribed species of Doridicola was discovered living in association with Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826), a Mediterranean gorgonian usually living in overlaps with that of E. singularis. Although the new species is close to D. botulosus, they differ in the oral appendages. A common origin of these two species was suggested. This is a good example of sibling species produced by the colonisation of two hosts with overlapping habitats
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