New optional intermediate hosts of Mothocya parvostis

The parasitic crustacean Mothocya parvostis infests the opercular cavities of fish, primarily the Japanese halfbeak Hyporhamphus sajori. Investigating the use of these intermediate hosts is crucial for understanding the life cycle of Cymothoidae. Through molecular analysis, we identified juveniles and mancae collected from two fish species to M. parvostis. The juveniles infesting the final host lacked swimming setae, while those in optional intermediate hosts had them. M. parvostis mancae infested juvenile fishes immediately after metamorphosis, growing alongside the host until detachment. The presence of M. parvostis in different optional intermediate hosts throughout the year suggests seasonal reproductive activity.

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