Quite a few endoparasitic copepods are known from Indo-Pacific stony corals, but not a single species has so far been recorded from the West Indies. Intensive search in the past few decades has even supported the prevailing opinion that West Indian stony corals are devoid of endoparasitic copepods, and that this absence could be related to the complicated zoogeographic past of the West Indian reef. However, during a 6-months stay (November 1973—April 1974) at the Caribbean Marine Biological Institute, in Curaçao (Netherlands’ Antilles), endoparasitic copepods have been found in not less than 14 species of stony corals. Some of these belong to a new family of curiously transformed animals, the CORALLOVEXIIDAE, of which the following forms were found during this study: Genus Corallovexia nov. (type-genus) C. brevibrachium n. sp. (type-species), from Diploria labyrinthiformis (Linnaeus). C. longibrachium n. sp., from Manicina areolata (Linnaeus) forma mayori (typical host), Colpophyllia natans (Müller), and Diploria strigosa (Dana). C. mediobrachium n. sp., from Diploria strigosa (Dana) (typical host), D. clivosa (Ellis & Solander), and possibly from Manicina areolata (Linnaeus) f. mayori. C. mixtibrachium n. sp., from Colpophyllia natans (Müller). C. kristenseni n. sp., from Colpophyllia natans (Müller). C. similis n. sp., from Acropora palmata (Lamarck). C. ventrospinosa n. sp., from Montastraea brasiliana (Verrill) (typical host) and M. cavernosa (Linnaeus). C. dorsospinosa n. sp., from Montastraea cavernosa (Linnaeus) (typical host) and M. brasiliana (Verrill). C. dorsospinosa var. minor nov., from Montastraea cavernosa (Linnaeus). C. spec., from Montastraea annularis (Ellis & Solander). Genus Corallonoxia nov. C. longicauda n. sp. (type-species), from Meandrina meandrites (Linnaeus) (typical host) and Dendrogyra cylindrus Ehrenberg. C. baki n. sp., from Eusmilia fastigiata (Pallas) (typical host), and Dendrogyra cylindrus Ehrenberg. C. spec., from Dichocoenia stokesii Milne Edwards & Haime.

Studies on the Fauna of Curaçao and other Caribbean Islands

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Naturalis journals & series

Stock, J.H. (1975). Corallovexiidae, a new family of transformed copepods endoparasitic in reef corals with two new genera and ten new species from Curaçao. Studies on the Fauna of Curaçao and other Caribbean Islands, 47(1), 1–45.