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

ParaZoo (full title ‘Metazoan parasites of non-crustacean zooplankton’) is likely one of the most interaction-focused initiatives at present working on the Invertebrate Collections of our Museum. This mission, funded by the Norwegian Biodiversity Data Centre (Artsdatabanken), goals at finding out the completely different animals that stay collectively inside and on the floor of Norwegian jellyfish. Which means that for the subsequent two years we will probably be on the lookout for 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 targeted 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 widespread life types within the animal kingdom. The truth is, some researchers imagine 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 pattern, 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 essential hosts for flatworms and different helminths, but our information of those animals in Norway may be very scarce.

ParaZoo’s emblem consists of two of the goal taxa of the mission: roundworms (Nematoda) and hyperiids (Amphipoda). The third primary parasitic group lined is flatworms (Platyhelminthes), illustrated by the larvae of Derogenes varicus parasitizing Halopsis ocellata proven in the appropriate aspect of this determine. IC: Joan J. Soto-Àngel, Luis Martell.

Understanding zooplankton parasites is essential as a result of lots of them are going to be transmitted to fish, the place they could trigger severe ailments. To get a greater overview of which critters stay in non-crustacean zooplankton, ParaZoo will pattern, file, and DNA-barcode specimens from all around 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 may assist with the identification of the parasites. Aquaculture amenities, fishermen, and managers of marine areas will profit from this database to higher plan and counter potential unfavorable impacts attributable to the parasites.

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

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

ParaZoo is dedicated to current the variety of jellyfish parasites to all these not aware of them. To be able to do this, we’ll usually write entries right here on the weblog, in addition to take part in a number of educational and not-academic conferences. The official data webpage for the mission is obtainable right here, so don’t overlook to test it out!


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