Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 9, pp 3575–3584 | Cite as

Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae: Heterocotylinae) from the gills of a captive onefin electric ray, Narke capensis (Narkidae) at Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa

  • David B. VaughanEmail author
  • Leslie A. Chisholm
  • Haakon Hansen
Original Paper


Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) is described from the gills of a captive female onefin electric ray, Narke capensis, collected for exhibition at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. Electrocotyle n. gen. is most similar to the heterocotyline genera Heterocotyle and Potamotrygonocotyle but could not be accommodated easily in either of these groups. The new genus is characterised by a haptor with one central and eight peripheral loculi, four unsclerotised structures on the dorsal surface of the haptor, a single unsclerotised non-sinous ridge on the ventral surface of the haptoral septa, large hamuli with a long handle and reduced guard, a vagina with sclerotised walls, and tetrahedral eggs. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 28S sequences strongly support the separate genus status of Electrocotyle n. gen and thus support our morphological conclusion. The Heterocotylinae is amended to accommodate the new genus, and the new species is fully described and illustrated herein. This is the first record of a monocotylid from the Narkidae. Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen. n. sp. is considered potentially pathogenic given its negative impact on the health of its captive host kept in the quarantine facility at Two Oceans Aquarium.


Electrocotyle whittingtoni Monogenea Monocotylidae Heterocotylinae Public aquarium Praziquantel 28S 


Compliance with ethical standards

All work was approved by the senior management of Two Oceans Aquarium, following company ethical guidelines.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Vaughan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Leslie A. Chisholm
    • 3
    • 4
  • Haakon Hansen
    • 5
  1. 1.Marine Parasitology Laboratory, Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Marine and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityQueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Aquatic Animal Health ResearchTwo Oceans AquariumCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Marine Parasitology Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DX 650 418)The University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Monogenean Research Laboratory, Parasitology SectionThe South Australian MuseumAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.Section for ParasitologyNorwegian Veterinary InstituteOsloNorway

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