Mission ParaZoo: there’s a critter inside my jellyfish!

ParaZoo (full title ‘Metazoan parasites of non-crustacean zooplankton’) is without doubt one of the most interaction-focused initiatives presently working on the Invertebrate Collections of our Museum. This undertaking, funded by the Norwegian Biodiversity Data Centre (Artsdatabanken), goals at learning the completely different animals that reside collectively inside and on the floor of Norwegian jellyfish. Because of this for the subsequent two years we will probably be in search of tapeworms, flukes, roundworms, and amphipods as ParaZoo tries to reply the query of which of those organisms are related to gelatinous hosts in Norwegian waters.

ParaZoo is concentrated on animal parasites and symbionts related to jellyfish. Thse parasites embody roundworms like Hysterothylacium aduncum (left, in Euphysa aurata), amphipods like Hyperia medusarum (center, on Aequorera forskalea), and flukes just like the members of household Didymozooidae (proper, in Beroe gracilis). IC: Aino Hosia (left), Katrine Kongshavn (center), Joan J. Soto-Àngel (proper).

Apart from jellyfish, arrow worms (Chaetognatha) are additionally members of non-crustacean zooplankton that host several types of parasites, like this H. aduncum roundworm (Nematoda). IC: Joan J. Soto-Àngel, Luis Martell.

Parasitism and symbiosis are extraordinarily frequent life kinds within the animal kingdom. In actual fact, some researchers consider that there could also be extra species of parasites than of free-living animals, given that every free-living species hosts many species of parasites (most of them distinctive) and people parasites additionally host their very own parasitic tenants. Marine zooplankton is not any exception to this development, and lots of parasites and symbionts are anticipated to happen in copepods, krill, and gelatinous zooplankton. Jellyfish and arrow worms, for instance, could also be vital hosts for flatworms and different helminths, but our information of those animals in Norway may be very scarce.

ParaZoo’s brand consists of two of the goal taxa of the undertaking: roundworms (Nematoda) and hyperiids (Amphipoda). The third principal parasitic group coated is flatworms (Platyhelminthes), illustrated by the larvae of Derogenes varicus parasitizing Halopsis ocellata proven in the precise facet of this determine. IC: Joan J. Soto-Àngel, Luis Martell.

Understanding zooplankton parasites is vital as a result of a lot of them are going to be transmitted to fish, the place they might trigger critical illnesses. To get a greater overview of which critters reside in non-crustacean zooplankton, ParaZoo will pattern, report, and DNA-barcode specimens from everywhere in the nation. The collected animals will probably be included in our museum collections after being recognized, documented photographically, and glued in ethanol. We are going to then generate an open-access database of knowledge together with photos and DNA sequences that can assist with the identification of the parasites. Aquaculture services, fishermen, and managers of marine areas will profit from this database to higher plan and counter potential destructive impacts brought on by the parasites.

Flukes, comparable to Opechona spp, parasitize gelatinous zooplankton (on this case a sea-gooseberry Pleurobrachia pileus) as larvae known as metacercariae. IC: Joan J. Soto-Àngel, Luis Martell.

The larvae of tapeworms (Cestoda) typically use jellyfish to succeed in their definitive hosts: fish. IC: Joan J. Soto-Àngel, Luis Martell.

ParaZoo is dedicated to current the range of jellyfish parasites to all these not accustomed to them. As a way to do this, we are going to recurrently write entries right here on the weblog, in addition to take part in a number of educational and not-academic conferences. The official information webpage for the undertaking is accessible right here, so don’t overlook to test it out!


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