, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 12-21
Date: 08 Jan 2009

Two new species of entobdelline skin parasites (Monogenea, Capsalidae) from the blotched fantail ray, Taeniura meyeni, in the Pacific Ocean, with comments on spermatophores and the male copulatory apparatus

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Abstract

We made a comparative anatomical study of entobdelline monogenean skin parasites from the blotched fantail ray, Taeniura meyeni (= T. melanospila) from public aquaria and fish-holding facilities distributed widely across the western Pacific Ocean. These facilities were located in Australia (Mooloolaba, southern Queensland; Cairns, northern Queensland), Taiwan and Japan. The capture localities of the aquarium fishes are unknown to us, with the exception of the individual fish from northern Queensland which came from Sudbury Reef, a local inshore reef. Entobdellines from southern Queensland differed morphologically from those from northern Queensland and Taiwan and the 2 new monogenean species are described and named Neoentobdella garneri sp. nov. and N. taiwanensis sp. nov., respectively. We determined that an entobdelline collected by Dyer and co-workers from a ray identified as T. melanospila (= T. meyeni) from an aquarium in Okinawa, Japan and identified by them as Entobdella squamula (Heath, 1902) Johnston, 1929 was misidentified and is tentatively assigned to N. taiwanensis sp. nov. The male copulatory organ of each new species resembles a penis, but evidence that these organs are eversible like a cirrus is presented. Caution is advised in deciding whether the male copulatory organs of capsalids may function as a penis or as a cirrus and we suggest that possession of a penis versus a cirrus may not necessarily indicate wide evolutionary divergence. In N. garneri, spermatophores consist of a sausage-shaped capsule and a long hollow stalk. A spermatophore received from a donor is anchored in the vagina by means of the stalk, with the capsule protruding outside the body.