Folia Parasitologica 49 137-151 (2002) | 10.14411/fp.2002.025
Haematophagous larvae of a gnathiid isopod were collected from the gills, nares and buccal cavity of a single leopard catshark Poroderma pantherinum (Smith, 1838) at Jeffreys Bay and five puffadder shysharks Haploblepharus edwardsii (Voight, 1832) and one blackspotted electric ray Torpedo fuscomaculata Peters, 1855, at the De Hoop Nature Reserve on the South African south coast. Larvae were kept in fresh seawater until their moult into adult stages. The morphology of the adult males did not conform to that of any known species and they are therefore described as Gnathia pantherina sp. n. The descriptions of the adult male, female and praniza larva are based on light and scanning electron microscopy observations. Characteristic features of this species include the large size of all the final life-cycle stages, the deeply divided mediofrontal process of the male, the morphology of the pylopods and maxillipedes of the female, and the number of teeth on the mandibles (eight) and maxillules (seven) of the praniza larvae.
Received: June 4, 2001; Accepted: October 23, 2001; Published: June 1, 2002