Diplectanids from Mycteroperca spp. (Epinephelidae) in the Mediterranean Sea: Redescriptions of six species from material collected off Tunisia and Libya, proposal for the ‘Pseudorhabdosynochus riouxi group’, and a taxonomic key



Chaabane A, Neifar L, Justine JL.


PLoS One. 2017 Feb 2;12(2):e0171392. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171392. 2017.


Diplectanid monogeneans are gill parasites that can infect fish in huge numbers and thus become harmful, especially in maricultured fish. It is therefore useful to have taxonomic tools, such as keys, to identify species. The following diplectanid species from groupers of the Mediterranean Sea were studied: five species of Pseudorhabdosynochus Yamaguti, 1958, including P. riouxi (Oliver, 1986) Kritsky & Beverley-Burton, 1986 from the dusky grouper Mycteroperca marginata, P. enitsuji Neifar & Euzet, 2007, P. bouaini Neifar & Euzet, 2007, P. dolicocolpos Neifar & Euzet, 2007 and P. sinediscus Neifar & Euzet, 2007 from the goldblotch grouper M. costae, and Echinoplectanum echinophallus (Euzet & Oliver, 1965) Justine & Euzet, 2006 from the dusky grouper. New material was obtained from fish collected from off Tunisia and Libya and compared to the type-material and voucher specimens in museum collections. Identifications of fish were confirmed by barcoding of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. The sclerotized vagina was considered the most important structure for systematics. The three species P. riouxi, P. bouaini, and P. enitsuji share a common general structure of the sclerotized vagina with a conspicuous spherical secondary chamber. We thus propose the ‘Pseudorhabdosynochus riouxi group’ to accommodate them. Pseudorhabdosynochus dolicocolpos has an elongate vaginal structure that is completely different from all its congeneric species reported from the Mediterranean Sea, and Pseudorhabdosynochus sinediscus has a sclerotized vagina in which the secondary chamber is not visible, and a haptor without squamodiscs. A taxonomic key to diplectanid species on Mycteroperca spp. in the Mediterranean Sea is proposed; it includes ten species of Pseudorhabdosynochus and one species of Echinoplectanum.

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Link/DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171392