Shrimps of the genus Periclimenes (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palaemonidae) associated with mushroom corals (Scleractinia, Fungiidae): Linking DNA barcodes to morphology
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Most marine palaemonid shrimp species live in symbiosis with invertebrates of various phyla. These associations range from weak epibiosis to obligatory endosymbiosis and from restricted commensalism to semi-parasitism. On coral reefs, such symbiotic shrimps can contribute to the associated biodiversity of reef corals. Among the host taxa, mushroom corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Fungiidae) are known to harbour various groups of symbionts, including shrimps. Some but not all of these associated species are host-specific. Because data on the host specificity of shrimps on mushroom corals are scarce, shrimp species of the genus Periclimenes were collected from mushroom corals during fieldwork in Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Using molecular (COI barcoding gene) and morphological methods, three species of Periclimenes were identified: P. diversipes, P. watamuae and a species new to science, P. subcorallum sp. nov., described herein. Their host specificity was variable, with eight, three and two fungiid host records, respectively. It is concluded that shrimp species of the genus Periclimenes show much overlap in their host choice and that particular morphological traits in the host species appear to play a more important role than phylogenetic affinities within the host group.