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Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies

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Volume 42, Issue 3


Hydroid Gonothyraea loveni found on the straightnose pipefish (Nerophis ophidion) in the Gulf of Gdańsk — symbiosis, parasitism or biofouling?

Anna Dziubińska
  • Department of Experimental Ecology of Marine Organisms Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk, Al. M. Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378, Gdynia, Poland
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/ Mariusz Sapota
  • Department of Marine Biology and Ecology Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk, Al. M. Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378, Gdynia, Poland
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Published Online: 2013-10-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13545-013-0090-y


Straightnose pipefish (Nerophis ophidion), covered with hydroid Gonothyraea loveni, were caught in August 2010 near Gdynia while fishing with fyke nets. The hydroid colonies were spaced around the fish, from the head to the anus. These colonies seemed to cause serious problems with the balance and swimming ability of the fish. It appears that there are no symbiotic or parasitic relationships between the hydroid and the fish. The fish was probably just another substrate for G. loveni and became colonized by fouling on the skin surface. It should also be taken into consideration that hydroid colonies can move from place to place with their fish host. It is possible that the hydroid benefits from the fish active search for planktonic food.

Keywords: Gonothyraea loveni; Nerophis ophidion; Baltic Sea; biofouling

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-10-03

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, Volume 42, Issue 3, Pages 332–335, ISSN (Online) 1897-3191, ISSN (Print) 1730-413X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13545-013-0090-y.

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© 2013 Faculty of Oceanography and Geography, University of Gdańsk, Poland. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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