Gyrodactylus ginestrae n. sp. (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae), a parasite of the big-scale sand smelt, Atherina boyeri Risso, 1810 (Actinopterygii: Atherinidae) from the Black Sea

  • Yuriy KvachEmail author
  • Markéta Ondračková
  • Mária Seifertová
  • Bohdan Hulak
Fish Parasitology - Original Paper


We describe a new species, Gyrodactylus ginestrae n. sp., a parasite of the big-scale sand smelt (Atherina boyeri) from the Black Sea. This is the third monogenean species known from this fish host, found at 70% prevalence, but at relatively low abundance (1.9), on fish gills and fins. The new species is, both morphologically and genetically, most similar to G. salinae, which parasitizes the killifish Aphanius fasciatus (Cyprinodontidae) in the Mediterranean region. These species differ in the size of the haptoral hard parts and the number of small spines of the male copulatory organ. For molecular characterization, the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), 5.8S rRNA gene, and the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) were sequenced, completed by a fragment of the COII gene, thereby representing the first molecularly characterized gyrodactylid species from the Black Sea. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on the ITS15.8SITS2 sequence data indicated the position of G. ginestrae n. sp. in the marine “rugiensis” group of G. (Paranephrotus) and G. (Neonephrotus) subgenera which is part of the monophyletic “long ITS1” group. Taking into account the similarity of G. ginestrae n. sp. to several monogeneans from the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions, we suggest the Boreal-Atlantic origin of this species.


Gyrodactylidae Brackish water Ponto-Caspian Phylogeny Gulf of Odessa Molecular study 



We thank Dr. Rodney A. Bray for proofreading of the manuscript.

Funding information

This study received financial support through Project No. P505/12/G112 of the European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology, Grant Agency of the Czech Republic—Centre of Excellence.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine BiologyNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineOdessaUkraine
  2. 2.Institute of Vertebrate BiologyCzech Academy of SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Odessa Center of Southern Scientific Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and OceanographyOdessaUkraine
  5. 5.Department of Hydrobiology and General EcologyI.I. Mechnikov Odessa National UniversityOdessaUkraine

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