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Mytilicola orientalis
Mytilicola orientalis
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Copepods


Mytilicola orientalis is a cyclopoid copepod which parasitizes a wide range of bivalve mollusks. It is native to the Northwest Pacific and was described from Japan in 1935. It has been introduced to the Northeast Pacific (California to British Columbia), Northeast Atlantic (France, Ireland and Netherlands) and the Mediterranean. It parasitizes a number of oysters, mussels and clams, including some commercially important species. Bivalves encounter the parasite through filter feeding, and although it rarely kills its host, infected individuals experience tissue damage and are often in lower condition, having increased water and decreased fat content.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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