A trifecta of Swiftian symbioses: stony corals, gall crabs and their parasites (Scleractinia; Brachyura: Cryptochiridae; Isopoda: Epicaridea and Cirripedia: Rhizocephala)

Coral reefs harbour an immense diversity of species, many of which live in association with one or more host organisms. Stony corals (Scleractinia) have been documented to host nearly 900 organisms, of which > 310 are decapod crustaceans. This associated fauna is also involuntary host to a diverse parasite fauna. Coral-dwelling gall crabs (Cryptochiridae) are obligate symbionts of scleractinian corals; however, records of their parasites are scarce, with only two named epicaridean isopod species known. Fieldwork focused on cryptochirids in the Indo-West Pacific and Caribbean yielded diverse new collections of both hosts and parasites. This new material was compared with material deposited in museum collections. Both previously described species were encountered in the newly collected material, as well as a new genus and species of bopyrid, a new genus and species of cryptoniscoid, four new species of Danalia, and the first record of a rhizocephalan parasitizing a gall crab, which is also described as a new species. Parasitism of gall crabs is more widespread than what could be assumed based on literature records, and all parasite species appear to be specific to hosts in this crab family. This is the first review of hypersymbioses between stony corals, gall crabs and the crabs' parasites and hyperparasites

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