Folia Parasitologica, vol. 55 (2008), issue 3

Folia Parasitologica 55[3] 224-230 (2008) | 10.14411/fp.2008.030

A new species of Ergasilus (Copepoda: Cyclopoida: Ergasilidae) from coastal fishes of the Mexican Pacific

Eduardo Suárez-Morales1, Ana María Santana-Piñeros2
1 El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Chetumal, Quintana Roo 77900, Mexico
2 Universidad del Mar, Campus Puerto Angel, Oaxaca 70902, Mexico

A new species of the cyclopoid copepod genus Ergasilus von Nordmann, 1832 is described based on adult female specimens removed from the gills of the yellow snapper Lutjanus argentiventris (Peters) and the yellowfin snook Centropomus robalito Jordan et Gilbert from a Pacific coastal system of Mexico. The new species Ergasilus davidi sp. n. has a combination of characters that includes a two-segmented first leg endopod, a three-segmented fourth leg endopod, and the presence of a single seta on the first antennular segment. These characters are shared with 14 other congeners known mainly from Brazil and North America. It differs from these other species in the armature and ornamentation of legs 1 and 4, the shape of the body, and the structure and ornamentation of the antennae. Additional characters include a maxillar basis armed with blunt teeth, distally bent maxillular setae, and naked margins of first exopodal segments of legs 2-4. Previous regional records of Ergasilus sp. from both fish species are probably assignable to E. davidi. The prevalence and intensity of infection was estimated for both teleost species and agrees to previous data. Based on other records of the genus from several other teleost species in the surveyed area and adjacent zones of the Eastern Pacific, it is presumed that the new species could have a wider range of hosts. The new species represents the first Ergasilus described from Mexican waters of the Pacific. Overall, the genus remains poorly known in Central America and Mexico.

Keywords: Copepoda, Ergasilidae, Ergasilus davidi, copepod taxonomy, fish parasites, Tropical Pacific, Mexico, Chiapas

Received: March 4, 2008; Accepted: April 4, 2008; Published: September 1, 2008


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