Alternate Title

Odd Association and Range Extension of Caligus rufimaculatus Wilson, 1905; Caligidae, Siphonostomatoida, Copepoda

Document Type

Short Communication


The Caligidae (Siphonostomatoida, Copepoda) comprises more than 465 parasitic species, over 250 of which belong to Caligus Müller, 1785 (Boxshall and Halsey 2004). Caligus spp. are primarily marine; but some representatives routinely inhabit brackish or fresh water (Margolis et al. 1975). Some Caligus spp. have been widely reported from several oceans, others have been documented from a single location, and a few have only been collected as free-swimming individuals not associated with a host (Margolis et al. 1975). Caligus spp. range from being stenoxenous to euryxenous, with most species infecting actinopterygians (Actinopterygii), a much smaller group exclusively or non-exclusively infecting chondrichthyans (primarly elasmobranchs; Elasmobranchii, Chondrichthyes) (Margolis et al. 1975, Tang and Newbound 2004), and one species non-exclusively infecting an invertebrate (Ruangpan and Kabata 1984). Herein, we report a modest range extension for Caligus rufimaculatus Wilson, 1905 based on specimens collected in an odd association with a dead dolphin in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and we contribute new details regarding the morphology of the parasite.

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