Folia Parasitologica 59 221-228 (2012) | 10.14411/fp.2012.030
In a study of the benthic polychaete fauna of the southern Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, several specimens of the terebellid polychaete Scionides reticulata (Ehlers) were found to host endoparasitic copepods that represent an undescribed species of the rare cyclopoid genus Entobius Dogiel, 1948. The new species, E. scionides sp. n., can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of characters including a genital region without constrictions, three-segmented antennules, a reduced antenna with a blunt terminal process, reduced ornamentation of endopods of legs 1-4 and its relatively small size (2.3-2.7 mm). It is the smallest species of the genus. Comments on immature females are also provided, but males of this species remain unknown. It has a high prevalence (53%) in populations of the terebellid S. reticulata in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but it is absent from the Caribbean. This is the first occurrence of this copepod genus in the Americas. The finding of the new species of Entobius in S. reticulata confirms the strict specificity of most members of the genus and expands the host range of this copepod genus. A key for the identification of the species of Entobius is provided.
Received: May 2, 2012; Accepted: July 25, 2012; Published: September 21, 2012