Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scent of a coral: Symbiosis between two new barnacle species and a gorgonian host

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Two new species of sessile barnacles were discovered in the waters of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea. The newly described animals seem to demonstrate astonishing preference to a particular gorgonian (sea fan) host. Like in a love story, the recognition of "the one" is believed to happen through pheromones.

This image shows Muriceopsis tuberculata, the gorgonian host of the new species Conopea fidelis.
Credit: Dana Carrison-Stone, CC-BY 3.0

Two new species of the gorgonian inhabiting barnacles -- Conopea saotomensis and Conopea fidelis -- have been collected from the area surrounding the historically isolated volcanic islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. The barnacles of this genus are widely spread across the temperate and tropical oceans, but what makes them special is that they occur exclusively in a symbiotic relationship with a gorgonian or black coral hosts. Observations suggest that the barnacles might have a unique ability to recognize and choose a specific host of their preference. The study was published in the open access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.

Related Articles


The islands near which the two new species of Conopea were found are the products of large shield volcanoes originating 3,000 m below the ocean's surface along the Cameroon line. São Tomé and Príncipe are particularly old islands, 13 and 30 millions of years old, respectively, and form part of the Gulf of Guinea island chain known for its remarkable natural beauty. The islands are home to a large number of endemic birds and plants such as the world's smallest ibis, the São Tomé Ibis, and the world's largest sunbird, the Giant Sunbird. Being of volcanic origin and 274 km west of northern Gabon, the islands have never been connected to the African mainland. Such a historical isolation of the area where the new species are found suggests the possibility of endemism.

The newly discovered barnacles are both gorgonian inhabiting. Observations by the authors suggest that they also demonstrate preference to a particular gorgonian hosts. This peculiar behavior is reflected in the name of one of the newly described species, Conopea fideli, referring to the 'fidelity' of the barnacle towards its host of preference. The host gorgonians are a particular type of beautiful octocoral, also known as sea fans. Once locating the host, the barnacle then lives in complete symbiosis with the gorgonian, almost fully covered by host tissue.

To date, not all the details of barnacle larvae settlement and interaction with the gorgonian host are known, but it seems that barnacle larvae are able to choose between the different gorgonians in their search for a host. This rather high degree of symbiotic relationship, almost like a love story, is believed to be mediated by pheromones. It has been demonstrated that barnacle larvae can determine where to settle by recognizing pheromone cues from their host. It has also been shown that gorgonians produce barnacle settlement inducers as well as inhibitors.

The lead author of the article, Dana Carrison-Stone from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, California Academy of Sciences, comments: "Although the details of the settling barnacle larvae and gorgonian interaction are not completely known, it appears, from our observations (specifically that Conopea fidelis was found only on Muriceopsis tuberculata) that barnacle larvae may be capable of distinguishing between gorgonian species. Of course, more collections, identifications, and laboratory work testing settlement preference would be needed to answer this question."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dana Carrison-Stone, Robert Van Syoc, Gary Williams, Brian Simison. Two new species of the gorgonian inhabiting barnacle, Conopea (Crustacea, Cirripedia, Thoracica), from the Gulf of Guinea. ZooKeys, 2013; 270 (0): 1 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.270.3736

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Scent of a coral: Symbiosis between two new barnacle species and a gorgonian host." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227102024.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, February 27). Scent of a coral: Symbiosis between two new barnacle species and a gorgonian host. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227102024.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Scent of a coral: Symbiosis between two new barnacle species and a gorgonian host." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227102024.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) — Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins