Overview

Distribution

Geographic Range

Pennella balaenopterae is found in the Antarctic seas and the Western and Northern Pacific Ocean.

Biogeographic Regions: antarctica ; pacific ocean

  • Dallay, M., W. Vogelbein. 1991. Parasite Fauna of Three Species of Antarctic Whales with Reference to Their Use as Potential Stock Indicators. Fishery Bulletin, 89(3): 355-364.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Pennella balaenopterae may reach up to 30 centimeters long, and thus is one of the largest species of copepods within its family. Adult females are characterized by a loss of external segmentation and obscuration of swimming appendages. Pennella species are recognized by the branched outgrowths on the posterior part of their trunks. The mandibles are prolonged, forming a sucking tube for the mouth through which the species feed. Adults also have paired, segmented sensory antennae. Five pairs of thoracic legs are found in the species, which are more modified in females than males. After attaching to the host the parasite undergoes diphasic growth. The first phase of this type of growth occurs in the copepod's anterior body portion. During the second phase of growth, the posterior portion, designated primarily for reproductive processes, begins to grow extremely rapidly, and is soon larger than the anterior portion.

Range length: 30 (high) cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes shaped differently

  • Roberts, L., J. Janovy, Jr.. 2000. Foundations of Parasitology. U.S.: McGraw Hill.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

The definitive hosts for Pennella balaenopterae are the Sei and Minke Whales (Balaenoptera borealis and Balaenoptera acutorostrata, respectively) of the Antarctic and North Pacific regions of the world. There have been some intermediate hosts found for species of the Pennellidae family that are important for the life cycle of the species. Although the intermediate host of Pennella balaenopterae is not known, this is not the case with all other copepodids.

Habitat Regions: saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: pelagic

  • Uchida, A., Y. Kawakami, S. Yuzu, S. Kishikawa, T. Kuramochi. 1998. Prevalence of Parasites and Histopathology of Parasitisation in Minke Whales from the Western North Pacific Ocean and Southern Sea of Okhotsk. Report of the International Whaling Commission, 48: 475-479.
  • Bliss, D. 1982. The Biology of crustacea. New York: Academic Press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Pennella balaenopterae is an ectoparasite of whales. It feeds by siphoning blood from the host through its elongate mandibles, which are the parasite's primary mouthparts.

Animal Foods: blood; body fluids

Primary Diet: carnivore (Sanguivore , Eats body fluids)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Ecosystem Roles

The definitive hosts for Pennella balaenopterae are the Sei and Minke Whales (Balaenoptera borealis and Balaenoptera acutorostrata, respectively) of the Antarctic and North Pacific regions of the world. There have been some intermediate hosts found for species of the Pennellidae family that are important for the life cycle of the species. Although the intermediate host of Pennella balaenopterae is not known, this is not the case with all other copepodids.

Ecosystem Impact: parasite

Species Used as Host:

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Predation

This free-living stage of this species is likely eaten by fish or other copepod predators. Eggs and younger stages have a high mortality probably due to not reaching a suitable host.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Adults also have paired, segmented sensory antennae. Crustaceans in general have various sensory resceptors, mainly setae over the body. Photoreceptors are also generally present.

Communication Channels: tactile ; chemical

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

  • Brusca, R., G. Brusca. 2003. Invertebrates. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc..
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Cycle

Development

The life cycle of Pennellidae species has not been fully studied. However, the typical copepodid life cycle is comprised of several stages, where there is a free-living stage within which the copepod undergoes several series of molts until the infective immature stage is reached. Also characteristic of this order is the existence of an intermediate host in the life cycle, usually a fish of some sort, but sometimes other vertebrates are used. The early development of the larvae takes place in the egg sac while it is still attached to the female copepodid, which then develops more and is ultimately released into the water possessing a full set of cephalic appendages and three pairs of thoracic legs. The copepod then finds its intermediate host where it remains until it reaches its later copepodid stages. After development of the attachment mouthparts, the copepod finds its definitive host where it then permanently attaches. Engorged females can produce from 300 to 700 eggs in each of her paired egg sacs.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Both sexes differ. Females have distinctive anchoring processes that extend from the anterior end of the parasite. Mating occurs after both sexes have reached full sexual maturity. After copulation, the copepod male dies early on in the cyclopodid stage of the life cycle. The female then loses all external segmentation and grows drastically in size. Both temperature and salinity are important factors to ensure successful reproduction.

Key Reproductive Features: sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning)

  • Roberts, L., J. Janovy, Jr.. 2000. Foundations of Parasitology. U.S.: McGraw Hill.
  • Bliss, D. 1982. The Biology of crustacea. New York: Academic Press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Although the Pennellidae species do not have a direct effect on humans, they do have an impact on the whaling industry as they affect the exterior, and sometime the interior, parts of the whales. Infested whales tend to have scars and legions on the surface of their blubber.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Pennella balaenopterae

Pennella balaenopterae is a large ectoparasitic copepod specialising in parasitising marine mammals. It is the largest member of the genus Pennella, the other species of which are parasites of larger marine fish.

Description[edit]

P. balaenopterae is one of the largest species of copepods within the family Pennellidae, reaching up to 30 centimetres (12 in) in length. The adult females are characterised by a loss of external segmentation and absorption of swimming legs. Pennella species are recognised by the branched outgrowths on the posterior part of their abdomens. The mandibles form a sucking tube for the mouth through which the species feed and adults also have a pair of segmented sensory antennae. Five pairs of thoracic legs are found in the species, which are more modified in females than males. After attaching to the host the parasite undergoes diphasic growth. The first phase of this type of growth occurs in the copepod's anterior body portion. During the second phase of growth, the posterior portion which is where the reproductive organs are, begins to grow extremely rapidly, and is soon larger than the anterior portion.[2]

Distribution[edit]

P. balaenopterae is found around Antarctica, and in western and northern parts of the Pacific Ocean.[2] It has also been recorded from the Mediterranean Sea.[3]

Biology[edit]

The sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) and the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are the main hosts of P. balaenopterae. Most species of Pennella have intermediate hosts which are important for the life cycle of the species, but the intermediate host of Pennella balaenopterae is not known. There have been recent records of this species parasitising pinnipeds, namely a northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) in the north Pacific[4] and from fin whale, (Balaenoptera physalus)[3] Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Adriatic Sea.[5] The early development of the larvae takes place in the egg sac while it is still attached to the female until it is released into the water column possessing a full set of cephalic appendages and three pairs of thoracic legs. The larval form then finds an intermediate host where it remains and develops into the copepodid stages. After development of the attachment mouthparts, the female copepod finds its definitive host where it then permanently attaches. Females can produce from 300 to 700 eggs in each of her paired egg sacs while engorged and attached to her definitive host. Males remain as free swimming copepodids but the females have a distinctive anchoring processes that extend from its anterior end. After both sexes have reached full sexual maturity copulation occurs, after which the male dies. The female then loses all external segmentation and grows drastically in size. Both temperature and salinity are important factors to ensure successful reproduction.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geoff Boxshall (2013). "Pennella balaenoptera Koren & Danielssen, 1877". In T. C. Walter & G. Boxshall. World Copepoda database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Nagla Fetouh (2003). "Pennella balaenopterae". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Erdoğan Çiçek, Ahmet Öktener & Osman Bahadır Çapar (2007). "First report of Pennella balaenopterae Koren and Danielssen, 1877 (Copepoda: Pennelidae) from Turkey". Türkiye Parazitoloji Dergisi 31 (3): 239–241. PMID 17918069. 
  4. ^ Murray D. Dailey, Martin Haulena & Judy Lawrence (2002). "First report of a parasitic copepod (Pennella balaenopterae) infestation in a pinniped". Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 33 (1): 62–65. JSTOR 20096177. PMID 12216795. 
  5. ^ Hrvoje Brzica (2004). "Morphological and morphometric characteristics of the ectoparasite Pennella balaenopterae (Copepoda, Siphonostomatida, Pennellidae) of whales (Cetacea) from the Adriatic Sea". University of Zagreb. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!