Xenoligophoroides cobitis (Ergens, 1963) n. g., n. comb. (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae), a parasite of Gobius cobitis Pallas (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from the Mediterranean and Black seas
Based on an integrative taxonomic approach, combining morphological characters and partial sequences of the nuclear 28S rRNA gene, a new genus and combination for the species Xenoligophoroides cobitis (Ergens, 1963) is proposed, to accommodate ancyrocephalid monogeneans, parasites on the gills of Gobius cobitis Pallas (Gobiidae) from the western Mediterranean Sea and the northern Black Sea. A morphological comparison of newly collected material with the descriptions of Ancyrocephalus cobitis Ergens, 1963 and Haliotrema cupensis Sasal, Pages & Euzet, 1998, recently synonymised and named as Haliotrema cobitis (Ergens, 1963), confirms their similarity and belonging to the same species. However, characters of this species, as the vas deferens not looping the caecal branch, the bilobed base of the male copulatory organ and the marginal hooks with an upright thumb, do not correspond to the diagnosis of Haliotrema Johnston & Tiegs, 1922. Morphologically, this species is close to members of Ligophorus Euzet & Suriano, 1977 and Kriboetrema Sarabeev, Rubtsova, Yang & Balbuena, 2013, but differs from the former in the accessory piece articulated with MCO and two prostatic reservoirs, and from the latter in the uncoiled MCO with bilobed base and the dextral vaginal pore. Moreover, all species of Ligophorus and Kriboetrema are parasites of grey mullets. A 28S rDNA-based phylogenetic analysis of sequences derived from specimens of X. cobitis from the Mediterranean and Black seas, along with sequences from several closely related genera of the Ancyrocephalidae, suggested the occurrence of a new taxonomic unit, which corresponded to the X. cobitis specimens. This finding supports the establishment of the new genus for the ancyrocephalid parasites on the gills of G. cobitis from the western Mediterranean Sea and the northern Black Sea.
We would like to express our gratitude to Dr Fabio Scarpa for his valuable help during the phylogenetic elaboration of the data.
Investigation of the first author was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Grant No. 15-29-02684ofi-m and a Visiting Professor/Scientist Programme Grant of the University of Sassari, 2014.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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