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Ommatokoita elongata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Maxillopoda
Subclass: Copepoda
Order: Siphonostomatoida
Family: Lernaeopodidae
Genus: Ommatokoita
Leigh-Sharpe, 1926
Species: O. elongata
Binomial name
Ommatokoita elongata
(Grant, 1827)

Ommatokoita superba Leigh-Sharpe, 1926

Ommatokoita elongata is a 30 mm (1.2 in) long pinkish-white parasitic copepod, frequently found permanently attached to the corneas of the Greenland shark and Pacific sleeper shark.[1][2][3][4] The parasites cause severe visual impairment, but it is thought that the sharks do not rely on keen eyesight for their survival.[3] It is the only species in the genus Ommatokoita.[5]


  1. ^ Borucinska, J. D.; Benz, G. W.; Whiteley, H. E. (1998). "Ocular lesions associated with attachment of the parasitic copepod Ommatokoita elongata (Grant) to corneas of Greenland sharks, Somniosus microcephalus (Bloch & Schneider)". Journal of Fish Diseases. 21 (6): 415–22. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2761.1998.00122.x. 
  2. ^ Berland, Bjørn (1961). "Copepod Ommatokoita elongata (Grant) in the Eyes of the Greenland Shark—a Possible Cause of Mutual Dependence". Nature. 191 (4790): 829–30. Bibcode:1961Natur.191..829B. doi:10.1038/191829a0. 
  3. ^ a b Benz, George W.; Borucinska, Joanna D.; Lowry, Lloyd F.; Whiteley, Herbert E. (2002). "Ocular lesions associated with attachment of the copepod Ommatokoita elongata (Lernaeopodidae: Siphonostomatoida) to corneas of Pacific sleeper sharks Somniosus pacificus captured off Alaska in Prince William Sound". The Journal of Parasitology. 88 (3): 474–81. doi:10.1645/0022-3395(2002)088[0474:OLAWAO]2.0.CO;2. PMID 12099414. 
  4. ^ Martin, R. Aidan (October 4, 1998). "Greenland sharks and parasites". [self-published source?]
  5. ^ Geoff Boxshall (2009). T. Chad Walter; Geoff Boxshall, eds. "Ommatokoita Leigh-Sharpe, 1926". World Copepoda database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved March 8, 2010.