2017 年 12 巻 3 号 p. 145-150
The life cycle and precopulatory mate guarding behavior of the poecilostomatoid copepod Goidelia japonica associated with the spoon worm Urechis unicinctus (Echiura) are described based on specimens from 19 worms collected from western Japan. A total of 676 copepods were collected from the host’s rectum (494 copepods) and body surface (182 copepods). Copepod numbers were significantly correlated with host weight. Copepods in the rectum consisted almost completely of copepodids (35%) and adult males (65%), with only one non-ovigerous adult female recorded. In contrast, those on the body surface were all adult males (24%) or females (76%), of which 58% were ovigerous. No nauplii or CI occurred. In the rectum, 36% of the adult males guarded 67% of the copepodids, consisting of CII–CV. From these results, their life cycle is considered as follows: nauplii and CI live as plankton; just before or after molting to CII, they enter the host’s rectum and females are probably soon guarded by males; they grow up to CV there; CV females guarded by males move to the body surface just before the final molt; on the body surface females molt to adults and spawn eggs. Guarding the first symbiotic stage (CII) is a unique precopulatory behavior for symbiotic poecilostomatoid copepods. This can be explained from the viewpoint of evolutionary resolution of the intersexual conflict and advantage for early copepodids in precopula.