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A re-evaluation of diversity of the Aporocotylidae Odhner, 1912 in Siganus fuscescens (Houttuyn) (Perciformes: Siganidae) and associated species


The aporocotylid fauna of the mottled spinefoot, Siganus fuscescens (Houttuyn), from Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, was characterised using a combined morphological and molecular approach. Four aporocotylid species were identified, three belonging to the genus Ankistromeces Nolan & Cribb, 2006 and one to Cardicola Short, 1953. Specimens of Cardicola matched an undescribed species from the same host and locality; this species is described as Cardicola mogilae n. sp. Phylogenetic analyses of ITS2 and 28S data showed that C. mogilae n. sp. forms a strongly supported clade with other Cardicola species from siganid fishes. We record Ankistromeces olsoni Nolan & Cribb, 2006 in Moreton Bay for the first time, redescribe A. dunwichensis Nolan & Cribb, 2006 on the basis of new specimens and sequence data and re-report Ankistromeces sp. X from Moreton Bay based on molecular data. We review the status of the ten putative species of aporocotylids reported from siganids. Small variation in ITS2 rDNA sequences, in association with different geographic localities, was previously used to separate Cardicola lafii Nolan & Cribb, 2006 from C. parilus Nolan & Cribb, 2006, C. bartolii Nolan & Cribb, 2006 from C. watsonensis Nolan & Cribb, 2006, C. tantabiddii Nolan & Cribb, 2006 from Cardicola sp. 2, Ankistromeces sp. Y from A. olsoni and Ankistromeces sp. X from Ankistromeces sp. Z. These five combinations are reinterpreted as each representing a single species; Cardicola lafii is recognised as the senior synonym of C. parilus and C. bartolii as the senior synonym of C. watsonensis. This study thus suggests that six, rather than ten, species should be recognised as infecting S. fuscescens. This richness remains greater than is known for any other fish species and siganids are, so far, unique among fishes in harbouring two strongly radiated lineages of aporocotylids.

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The authors sincerely thank John Page, Dave Thompson, Daniel Huston, Storm Martin and Nicholas Wee for their assistance in the collection of fish in Moreton Bay. The authors thank the staff of Moreton Bay Research Station for their active and enthusiastic support of our research.


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. This work was further funded by Moreton Bay Research Station Research Scholarships awarded to RY and an ABRS Capacity-building Grant Honours Scholarship awarded to XB. RY acknowledges the support of the Australian government through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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Correspondence to Scott C. Cutmore.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:5B490D2E-3ADF-4DD4-B881-8B82C73C7C9F. This article was published as an Online First article on the online publication date shown on this page. The article should be cited by using the doi number. This is the Version of Record.

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Brooks, X., Cribb, T.H., Yong, R.Q. et al. A re-evaluation of diversity of the Aporocotylidae Odhner, 1912 in Siganus fuscescens (Houttuyn) (Perciformes: Siganidae) and associated species. Syst Parasitol 94, 717–737 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-017-9744-2

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