Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 93, Issue 9, pp 831–846 | Cite as

A complex of Cardicola Short, 1953 (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) species infecting the milkfish Chanos chanos Forsskål (Gonorynchiformes), with descriptions of two new species

  • Russell Q.-Y. Yong
  • Scott C. Cutmore
  • Terrence L. Miller
  • Nicholas Q.-X. Wee
  • Thomas H. Cribb


Two new species of Cardicola Short, 1953 are described from the milkfish, Chanos chanos Forsskål (Gonorynchiformes: Chanidae), obtained from off Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and North Stradbroke Island in southeast Queensland. These are the first known blood flukes from this order of fishes. Cardicola suni n. sp. differs from all other Cardicola spp. by a combination of a large ovoid oral sucker surrounding a subterminal mouth, recurved tegumental spines up to 16 μm long, anterior caeca occupying 25.1–31.3% (28.7%) of total body length and a mostly-intercaecal ovary. Cardicola jiigurru n. sp. differs from C. suni n. sp. and all other species of Cardicola by a combination of a narrowly lanceolate body, weakly-muscularised and poorly-demarcated oral sucker, minute tegumental spines <1 µm in length, and anterior caeca occupying 15.9–22.0% (19.4%) of total body length, an almost entirely post-caecal ovary and the male genital pore terminal on a dorsolateral protuberance. A third species, closely resembling C. suni n. sp., was also discovered off Wangetti Beach, north Queensland, but is not described due to lack of material. Molecular phylogenetic analysis, based on both ITS2 and partial 28S rDNA regions, shows that these three species form a clade nested within that formed by existing species of Cardicola.


Oral Sucker Total Body Length Genital Pore Posterior Extremity ITS2 rDNA 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Drs Rodney Bray and Abigail Downie for their aid in obtaining and analysing specimens for this study. We also thank the staff of Moreton Bay and Lizard Island Research Stations, for their practical and enthusiastic support of our research. The authors acknowledge the Dingaal, Yirrganydji and Quandamooka people, the traditional custodians of Lizard Island, Wangetti and North Stradbroke Island respectively, and pay respects to elders past and present of those nations.


The authors acknowledge the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) for their ongoing support. This study was funded by the ABRS National Taxonomy Research Grant RF215-40, awarded in support of research into the parasites of commercial fishes of Moreton Bay. This work was also supported by a Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, as well as a Moreton Bay Research Station (MBRS) research scholarship, both awarded to the first author.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The authors declare that all applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed for this study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Marine and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia
  3. 3.Fish Health LaboratoryDepartment of Fisheries Western AustraliaSouth PerthAustralia

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