Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Committee Chair

Robin M. Overstreet

Committee Chair Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Committee Member 2

Jeffrey Lotz

Committee Member 2 Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Committee Member 3

Richard Heard

Committee Member 3 Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Committee Member 4

Darrell Grimes

Committee Member 4 Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


The superfamily Haploporoidea Nicoll, 1914 comprises two families, the Atractotrematidae Yamaguti, 1939 and the Haploporidae Nicoll, 1914, and the subfamily Cadenatellinae Gibson et Bray, 1982. All members are parasites of the alimentary tract or gall bladder of marine, estuarine, and freshwater herbivorous fishes. Overstreet and Curran (2005a) provided a review of the Haploporidae and recognized four subfamilies, the Chalcinotrematinae Overstreet et Curran, 2005, Haploporinae Nicoll, 1914, Megasoleninae Manter, 1935, and Waretrematinae Srivastava, 1937. In a series of five publications, Blasco-Costa et al. (2009a-e) revised the Haploporinae and erected a fifth subfamily, the Forticulcitinae Blasco-Costa, Balbuena, Kostadinova, et Olson, 2009. The present work tests the monophyly of the Haploporinae and Megasoleninae; clarifies the systematics of the Haploporinae, Forticulcitinae, and the Haploporoidea; describes ten new species; erects three new genera and a new family; and provides the first mitochondrial hypotheses for members of the superfamily. A new genus is erected for Lecithobotrys brisbanensis (Martin, 1974) that was previously considered a species inquirenda and represents the first haploporine coupled with molecular sequence data from outside of the Mediterranean Sea. Two new species of Forticulcita Overstreet, 1982 are described from the New World and a new genus is erected for the two New World species of Dicrogaster Looss, 1902. Bayesian inference (BI) analysis suggests that the Forticulcitinae has a New World origin. Three additional species of Pseudodicrogaster Blasco-Costa, Montero, Gibson, Balbuena, et Kostadinova, 2009 are described from Australia; BI analysis resolved the genus as the sister group to the Mediterranean haploporines. A new Indo-Pacific genus is erected for four new species from off Australia, three species originally described in Haploporus Looss, 1902, and one species originally described in Saccocoelium Looss, 1902. A new species of Megasolena Linton, 1910 is described. A BI hypothesis including data for four megasolenines resolved the family Haploporidae and the subfamily Megasoleninae as paraphyletic. Therefore, the Megasoleninae is elevated to the Megasolenidae Manter, 1935 for members with two testes; Cadenatellinae is elevated to the Cadenatellidae Gibson et Bray, 1982; and a new family is erected for genera with a single testis that Overstreet and Curran (2005a) previously considered to belong in the Megasoleninae. Novel mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence data are provided for members of the Haploporoidea. Concatenated phylogenetic analysis of one mt and two nuclear gene regions support Manter’s (1957) hypothesis suggesting that species of Mugil Linnaeus have acted as ‘ecological bridges’ in the radiation of the haploporids.