Six New Species of Lepidapedon Stafford, 1904 (Digenea : Lepocreadiidae) from Deep-Sea Macrourid Fishes from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, with Revised Keys to the Species of the Genus

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Marine Science


Species of the genus Lepidapedon are divided into various groups and subgroups based on vitelline distribution relative to the acetabulum and anterior extent of the excretory vesicle. Members of this genus predominantly parasitise gadiform fishes and are commonly collected from relatively deep waters. A recent study of deep-sea helminths from macrourids of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea revealed six new species of this genus. L. mexicanensis n. sp., of the elongatum group, elongatum subgroup, differs from other species in this subgroup in proportions (as % of body length), lacking confluent vitelline fields between both the ovary and anterior testis and the testes, and in having a smaller egg and body size. L. nezumiatis n. sp., of the elongatum group, desclersae subgroup, differs from both L. filiformis and L. desclersae in having intermediate egg and body sizes, and a longer oesophagus than prepharynx. L. caribbaei n. sp. and L. longivesicula n. sp., of the garrardi group, congeri subgroup, differ from L. congeri in having a sucker-ratio of 1:< 1. L. caribbaei n. sp. and L. longivesicula n. sp. differ from each other in that L. caribbaei n. sp. has numerous long, barb-like, deeply imbedded spines, a less elongate body, an infundibuliform oral sucker, a similar-sized oesophagus and prepharynx, and a caecal bifurcation which is closer to the acetabulum than oral sucker, while L. longivesicula n. sp. has shorter, serrate or plate-like, lightly imbedded, widely to sporadically spaced spines, a more elongate body, a spherical to subspherical oral sucker, a longer oesophagus than prepharynx, and a caecal bifurcation which is closer to the oral sucker than acetabulum. L. desotoensis n. sp., of the rachion group, rachion subgroup, is distinct from both L. luteum and L. abyssensis in having a smaller size, lacking cervical glands or pharyngeal gland cells, and possessing dark-staining particles in the mesenchyme, while it differs from L. abyssensis specifically in having a much longer oesophagus than prepharynx, lateral vitelline fields that are not confluent intertesticularly, and wider eggs. L. zaniophori n. sp., also of the rachion subgroup, differs from both L. cascadensis and L. genge in having a smaller egg size, a shorter prepharynx and oesophagus than pharynx, and vitelline fields that are intertesticular but only slightly encroach between the ovary and anterior testis. L. sammari and L. spiniferi are designated as incertae sedis, and L. quiloni and L. stromateusi are designated as species inquirendae. New parasite keys and host records for Coelorinchus coelorhincus, C. caribbaeus and Nezumia cyrano are offered. Support is given to Lepidapedon probably being the dominant digenean genus in deep water.

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Systematic Parasitology





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