Morphometric and molecular characterisation of specimens of Lepidapedon Stafford, 1904 (Digenea: Lepidapedidae) from the deep-sea fish Mora moro (Risso) (Teleostei: Moridae) in the western Mediterranean
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In a study of the parasites of the deep-sea fish Mora moro (Risso) (Gadiformes: Moridae) off the Mediterranean coasts of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands (Spain), we were able to distinguish two morphs of specimens belonging to Lepidapedon Stafford, 1904 (Digenea: Lepidapedidae). This material is herein described and illustrated. Comparative sequence analyses using partial mitochondrial nad1 sequences revealed that the material assigned to one of these morphs can be considered conspecific with the material identified as Lepidapedon desclersae Bray & Gibson, 1995 from the same host. However, the published nad1 sequence for L. desclersae was generated from a specimen ex M. moro from the North East Atlantic. Examination of the voucher specimens associated with this sequence revealed that both the North East Atlantic and the Mediterranean specimens ex M. moro differ from L. desclersae as described from its type-host, Lepidion eques (Günther), in the anterior extent of the vitelline fields which is further posterior, reaching only to the posterior margin of the external seminal vesicle in L. desclersae, versus being at the mid-level of this organ and reaching the posterior margin of the ventral sucker. Therefore, we have tentatively assigned the material characterised here, both morphologically and molecularly as Lepidapedon sp. Acquisition of additional sequences for both nad1 mitochondrial and 28S rRNA genes of L. desclersae from material ex Lepidion spp. is required in order to determine whether the observed morphometric variation reflects host-related or inter-specific differences. The second morph of Lepidapedon from M. moro is described and distinguished on morphometric grounds, such as the position of the most anterior vitelline follicles, which reach to the anterior margin of the ventral sucker. Its identity is commented upon, but, in view of the fact that there were few specimens and no molecular data available, it is not named.
KeywordsPosterior Margin Ventral Sucker Genital Atrium North East Intestinal Bifurcation
We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) Project ANTROMARE (CTM2009-12214-C02-02), the Czech Science Foundation (Projects P505/10/1562 and P505/12/G112 to AK and SG), the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia (GAJU) (Project 04-135/2010/P to SG) and the Institute of Parasitology, České Budějovice (RVO 60077344). APO benefited from a Grant from the Xarxa de Referència de R+D+I en Aqüicultura.
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