Multiple purple spots in the Caribbean sea fan Gorgonia ventalina caused by parasitic copepods at St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
Symbiotic Copepoda comprise a widespread, diverse, and abundant ecological group of small crustaceans associat- ed with various invertebrates, including octocorals. Some copepods, such as Lamippidae, are morphologically high- ly modified endoparasites found in galls or other cavities of various species of octocorals (Buhl-Mortensen and Mortensen 2004). Despite previous investigations of sym- biotic copepods inside Caribbean octocorals (Stock 1973), lamippid copepods associated with the common shallow-water sea fan Gorgonia ventalina Linnaeus, 1758, have not been reported so far.
Research and monitoring