Lepeophtheirus azoricus n. sp. (Copepoda: Caligidae) parasitic on dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, from Atlantic waters off the Azores, Portugal
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A new species of caligid copepod, Lepeophtheirus azoricus n. sp., is described from the dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe), caught in Atlantic waters off Faial Island in the Azores. Both sexes of the parasite were collected from the body surface of the host by the application of osmotic shock. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by the following set of characters: (1) an obvious conical projection on the posterolateral corners of the genital complex, (2) the relative lengths of the second and third spines on the terminal exopodal segment of leg 4, (3) the relative lengths of the setal elements on legs 5 and 6 of the male, (4) the ornamentation, and lack of a myxal process, on the proximal segment of the maxilliped in both sexes, (5) the unusual structure of the male antenna.
KeywordsLepeophtheirus Dusky grouper Parasite Copepod Atlantic Ocean
The authors gratefully acknowledge Flying Sharks and MARE for their technical and logistic support, and all the colleagues who assisted in the field and laboratory work. Special thanks go to Luís Silva and Nelson Campino, from Flying Sharks, for their valuable technical support on planning and collecting the dusky grouper and to António Godinho, from the University of Azores, for the materials and facilities provided for this work. The research conducted complies with the current Portuguese Law. We would also like to thank Dr. Masahiro Dojiri from California, USA for his comments on the identification of the new species and also for providing valuable documents. We would also like to thank Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kasım Ocakoglu, Head of Advanced Technologies Research & Application Center (MEITAM) of the University of Mersin, Turkey, and Prof. Suphan Karaytug and Ms. Seher Kuru from Mersin University for their administrative and technical support during the SEM and LM studies.
This study was partially supported by Flying Sharks—Collections, Consulting, Conservation and Education.
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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