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Review of the Predators and Parasites of Stony Corals, with Special Reference to Symbiotic Prosobranch Gastropods

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Title:Review of the Predators and Parasites of Stony Corals, with Special Reference to Symbiotic Prosobranch Gastropods
Authors:Robertson, Robert
Date Issued:Jan 1970
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Robertson R. 1970. Review of the predators and parasites of stony corals, with special reference to symbiotic prosobranch gastropods. Pac Sci 24(1): 43-54.
Abstract:Predators and parasites on the living tissues of stony (scleractinian)
corals include bony and cartilaginous fishes, asteroids, crustaceans (cyclopoid copepods,
cirripedes, and brachyuran crabs) , polychaetes, and gastropods (prosobranchs
and nudibranchs). These are all facultative predators except the crustaceans and
gastropods that are obligately associated (symbiotic) with and feed on their coral
hosts. Such symbionts are known in four unrelated families of crustaceans (Xarifiidae,
Asterocheridae, Balanidae, and Xanthidae) and four unr elated families of
prosobranch gastropods (Architectonicidae, Epitoniidae, Ovulidae, and Coralliophilidae)
. A fifth prosobranch family includes frequent but not obligate coral
associates that are coral- and possibly also mollusk-feeders (Muricidae [Drupa,
subgenus Drupella]). The eolid nudibranch genus Phestilla (Tergipedidae) includes
the only so far identified opisthobranchs definitely symbiotic with corals.
Most of the crustacean and molluscan symbionts live with hermatypic corals in
the Indo-Pacific. Specificity to particular genera or families of corals is low, but
the bright yellow, orange, or pink phases (species?) of the dendrophylliid ahermatypic
coral Tubastraea are host to similarly colored prosobranchs C Epitonitlm" )
and a nudibranch (Phestilla melanobrachia) . Adapt ations for feeding on coelenterates
are various, but in unrelated gastropod families similar specializations occur
(cuticularized esophaguses and proboscises, ptenoglossate-like radular teeth, and
total loss of radulae) . The most specialized of the coral-dwelling prosobranchs
are the coralliophilids ( including Magiltus), parasites without radulae living both
on and in coelenterates.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 24, Number 1, 1970

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