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The biodiversity and systematics of marine fish parasitic isopods of the family Cymothoidae from Southern Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. N.J. Smit; Dr. N.L. Bruce en_US
dc.contributor.author Hadfield, Kerry Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-02T19:10:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-02T19:10:48Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-02
dc.date.submitted 2012-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8063
dc.description Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.abstract Within the order Isopoda, only a few families are known to be parasitic. Representatives from the family, Cymothoidae, are obligate parasites of both marine and freshwater fishes. In South Africa, information regarding these isopods is scanty and the little that is known is mostly outdated and inaccurate. Currently only 12 species of cymothoid isopods are known from this region and thus it was hypothesised that with proper sampling and identification, this number would increase and that the known number is not a true reflection of the actual number of cymothoid isopods present. A complete revision of the southern African Cymothoidae is required and thus this project focussed on three of the least studied genera, Ceratothoa Dana, 1852, Cinusa Schioedte & Meinert, 1884, and Cymothoa Fabricius, 1787. The cymothoid isopods studied in this project were obtained from fresh collections along the southern African coast as well as from museum collections. The fresh material was obtained from various sampling trips along the east and south coasts of South Africa as well as from Zanzibar, Tanzania. The museum collections were loaned from a number of national and international museums, and preserved isopods were also collected from fish specimens housed in the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) museum. Isopods were dissected (if possible), drawn and described. Species descriptions were prepared in DELTA (Descriptive Language for Taxonomy) using a specifically constructed Cymothoidae data set. All valid members of the buccal inhabiting genera Ceratothoa, Cinusa and Cymothoa, were completely reviewed including a full account of the species synonymy, distribution, and known hosts as well as a few additional notes. Where applicable, a redescription of the type specimen was also provided and problematic combinations or issues in the species were discussed. Each species was then defined as valid, invalid or of questionable status and a complete reviewed species list for the genus was provided. According to the World Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Isopod Crustaceans database, there are 31 accepted Ceratothoa species names. After completion of the Ceratothoa review, eight species were considered questionable and another three were synonymised with other valid species. Thus, the species list was diminished to a total of 20 currently known and valid Ceratothoa species. In South Africa, another two new species were identified and described, which would increase the number of Ceratothoa species in this region to four, and will add another two species onto the world list once published. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Cymothoidae en_US
dc.subject Fish parasites en_US
dc.subject Isopoda en_US
dc.subject Marine animals - Parasites
dc.title The biodiversity and systematics of marine fish parasitic isopods of the family Cymothoidae from Southern Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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