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Table 4 Life cycle of Cymothoa frontalis

From: Cymothoa frontalis, a cymothoid isopod parasitizing the belonid fish Strongylura strongylura from the Malabar Coast (Kerala, India): redescription, description, prevalence and life cycle

Stages of life cycle Remarks
Marsupial stage Zygotic stage Round or oval, light florescent yellow (size: 1.2 to 1.3 mm)
Embryonic stages (ES) ES I Subspherical to ovoid embryo, structural differentiation not evident, light florescent yellow in colour (size: 1.3 to 1.5 mm length and 1.25 to 1.3 mm width)
ES II Elongate/oblong embryo with a cephalic end and early limb bud developed. Pigmentation in the eyespot started. (size: 1.6 to 1.85 mm length and 1.3 to 1.35 mm width)
ES III Curved and segmented embryos with pigmented eyespots, thoracic and abdominal limb buds appeared. Dorsal surface shows chromatophores. (size: 1.9 to 2.0 mm length and 1.3 to 1.400 mm width)
Larval stages Pre-manca The first hatched larvae remain in the marsupium and undergo moulting to transform into manca. (Description is given in the text)
Manca Final marsupial stage released in the surrounding medium. (Description is given in the text)
Free living stage Manca Free swimming stage. Swim and search for specific host (S. strongylura)
Infective stage Manca Infectious stage attaches to the host (S. strongylura) and then undergoes moulting to transform into juvenile
Juvenile It undergoes moulting to transform into male. (Description is given in the text)
Male It undergoes a moulting process and enters into the transitional stage. (Description is given in the text)
Transitional stage It undergoes a moult to transform into the female stage 1 (Fs 1). (Description is given in the text)
Female Fs 1 Ovigerous female with fully grown ovary and with newly formed brood plates, but no marsupiumites. Undergo oviposition to form Fs 2
Fs 2 Ovigerous female with growing ovary and carry first set of brood and marsupiumites show synchrony in their development
Fs 3 Ovigerous female with growing ovary and carrying empty old brood pouch, after releasing manca. It undergoes a moult to transform into Fs 4
Fs 4 Ovigerous female with growing ovary and no brood pouch/brood plates. It undergoes a moult to transform into Fs 5
Fs 5 Ovigerous female with newly formed brood plates but no marsupiumites. It undergoes oviposition to form Fs 6
Fs 6 Ovigerous female carrying second brood and marsupiumites show synchrony in their development