Interoceanic occurrence of species of Aristocleidus Mueller, 1936 (Monogenoidea: Dactylogyridae) parasitizing the gills of gerreid fishes in the Neotropics
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During investigations of fish parasites in the Neotropics (including the state of Veracruz and the Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico, the Chautengo Lagoon on the Pacific coast of the state of Guerrero in Mexico, and Lake Gatun in the Panama Canal), three monogenoidean (Dactylogyridae) species were found parasitizing the gills of gerreids (Gerreidae): Aristocleidus hastatus Mueller, 1936, was recovered from Eugerres plumieri (Cuvier) and Diapterus auratus Ranzani in Veracruz, from D. auratus and Diapterus rhombeus (Cuvier) in Yucatán, from Eugerres brasilianus (Cuvier) in Panama (all new hosts and geographical records), and from D. peruvianus (Cuvier) and Gerres cinereus (Walbaum) in Guerrero; Aristocleidus lamothei Kritsky and Mendoza-Franco, 2008, was recovered from E. plumieri in Veracruz and from D. rhombeus in Yucatan (new hosts and geographical records), and Aristocleidus sp. was recovered from G. cinereus in Guerrero. Results from this study suggest that species of Aristocleidus exhibit wide host specificity within gerreid fishes and that geminate species within this parasite genus may have originated with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama (3.1 to 3.5 ma). Evidence is also presented suggesting the potential role of the Panama Canal as a passageway allowing the interoceanic dispersal of Aristocleidus species across the isthmus.
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