McLaughlin, Patsy A. Formerly, Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University, Anacortes, Washington.
- Additional Readings
One of two major orders of parasitic Copepoda that were previously included in the Cyclopoida. The classification of parasitic copepods has been established on the basis of the structure of the mouth. In poecilostomatoids the mouth is represented by a transverse slit, partially covered by the overhanging labrum, which resembles an upper lip. Although there is variability in the form of the mandible among poecilostomatoids, it can be generalized as being falcate (see illustration). Body segmentation is typically podoplean, having prosome–urosome articulation between the fifth and sixth thoracic somites; however, this segmentation is often lost with the molt to adulthood. The antennules frequently are reduced in size and the antennae modified to terminate in small hooks or claws that are used in attachment to host organisms.
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