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Parasciadicleithrum octofasciatum n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenoidea: Dactylogyridae), parasite of Rocio octofasciata (Regan) (Cichlidae: Perciformes) from Mexico characterised by morphological and molecular evidence

Mendoza-Palmero, Carlos A., Blasco-Costa, Isabel, Hernández-Mena, David, Pérez-Ponce de León, Gerardo
Parasitology international 2017 v.66 no.2 pp. 152-162
Bayesian theory, Cichlidae, Dactylogyridae, Neotropics, body size, environmental factors, genes, gills, new genus, new species, nucleotide sequences, parasites, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, testes, watersheds, Mexico
Based on an integrative taxonomic approach, combining morphological characters and partial sequences of the 28S rRNA gene, a new genus and species, Parasciadicleithrum octofasciatum, is proposed to accommodate dactylogyrids infecting the gills of Rocio octofasciata (Cichlidae) from a tributary of the Lacantún River basin, Chiapas State, southern Mexico. Morphologically, the new genus resembles members of Sciadicleithrum (Dactylogyridae) in the presence of membranes on the anterior margins of both ventral and dorsal haptoral bars. However, Parasciadicleithrum octofasciatum n. sp. shows morphological differences with respect to a subset of species of Sciadicleithrum occurring in the same host group and geographic area, such as the body size and gonad dimensions (length and width of germarium and testis, respectively, smaller in the new genus). Phylogenetic analyses performed herein based on Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference criteria, showed that Parasciadicleithrum octofasciatum n. sp. represents an undescribed taxon morphologically very similar to species of Sciadicleithrum from which it can be consistently distinguished on the basis of molecular data. P. octofasciatum n. sp. appeared genetically distant from Sciadicleithrum spp. and nested with dactylogyrid parasites of African cichlids. Parasciadicleithrum n. gen. showed divergence levels in the 28S rDNA sequences of 25–26% with respect to Sciadicleithrum spp. Therefore, on the basis of molecular evidence mainly, and morphological differences highlighted above, the erection of the new genus is proposed. The evolutionary and ecological factors that may have influenced the associations between Neotropical cichlids and their dactylogyrid parasites are briefly discussed.