Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 342–360 | Cite as

Molecular identification of cryptic species of Ceratomyxa Thélohan, 1892 (Myxosporea: Bivalvulida) including the description of eight novel species from apogonid fishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) from Australian waters

  • Holly Heiniger
  • Robert D. Adlard
Original Paper


Ceratomyxa parasites from the gall bladders of 23 species of cardinalfishes (family Apogonidae) from Australian waters were examined for their taxonomic identity and phylogenetic relatedness. We identified 15 of the 23 apogonid fish species infected with species of Ceratomyxa. Although the majority of apogonid species harboured only a single Ceratomyxa species, four were found with multiple species of Ceratomyxa. This study describes eight novel species using a combination of morphological, small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) and biological characters. Six Ceratomyxa species are reported from single apogonid species, while two are reported from multiple host species. Molecular data were critical in identifying several morphologically cryptic species. However, our results suggest that SSU rDNA was not capable of distinguishing all the species present in the current study system and alternative genetic markers should be investigated in the future.


Ceratomyxa Myxosporea Bivalvulida Apogonidae cryptic species host specificity phylogeny diversity parasite 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Environments Program, Queensland MuseumSouth BrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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