By W.H.R. Lumsden, R. Muller, J.R. Baker (Eds.)
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Extra info for Advances in Parasitology, Vol. 19
Spawning migrations of the host might provide such explanation. This scenario would provide also a possible example of synchronization of life cycles between the host and the copepod. Alternatively, fish of a certain age/size group might be preferred by the copepod over other groups available in the same habitat. This would naturally lead to uneven distribution of the copepod population. ” One obvious reason for lack of susceptibility on the part of the fish is the development of immunity. We have no definite evidence that this defence mechanism does operate against copepod parasites, but we cannot reject it out of hand, if only because immunity is a known defence mechanism in fishes, and because of indications that it might affect parasites of other groups.
The next cycle segment, the preadult, is that part during which the copepod either settles definitively on the host and enters a period of metamorphosis, or attains its definitive level of organization, released from the protective restraint of larval semi-permanent attachment. Remembering that our copepods have descended from the free-living Podoplea, we would expect that the species least modified by their pursuit of a parasitic way of life would have life cycles differing only slightly from those of their ancestors.
Remembering that our copepods have descended from the free-living Podoplea, we would expect that the species least modified by their pursuit of a parasitic way of life would have life cycles differing only slightly from those of their ancestors. The evidence at our disposal is, however, far from affirmative with regard to this question. The only known copepods parasitic on fishes and with five naupliar stages in their cycle are Colobomatus pupa and Sarcofaces pacificus, both greatly modified and endoparasitic poecilostomatoids.