New Species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 from Native Fish from Chiapas, Mexico, Studied by Morphology and Molecular Analyses



Three new species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 are described from Poeciliopsis hnilickai and Tlaloc labialis (syn. Profundulus candalarius and Profundulus labialis) from the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Gyrodactylus chiapaneco n. sp. is described from T. labialis. Gyrodactylus guatopotei n. sp. was found to infect P. hnilickai. Gyrodactylus tlaloci n. sp. is described from T. labialis. The new species were characterised morphologically (haptoral hooks) and molecularly (sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacer region (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) of rDNA).


During a survey in March 2017 in the state of Chiapas, individuals of Tlaloc labialis were collected by electrofishing from Arroyo Ojo de Agua and from Río Hondo, Ixtapa, Río Las Lajas and Poeciliopsis hnilickai from Río Hondo, Ixtapa and Río Cacao. Three new species of Gyrodactylus were found and are described herein based on morphological and genetic analysis.


Attachment hooks were excised and partially digested with a proteolytic solution to remove tissue enclosing the haptoral armature. Measurements and pictures of the haptoral hard structures were taken and were compared with other Gyrodactylus species found on poeciliids and profundulids. The bodies from which haptoral hook were removed were stored individually in 95% ethanol at − 20 °C for molecular analyses. Sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacer region of rDNA were obtained for each species and were compared with 26 Gyrodactylus spp. The genetic divergence among species of Gyrodactylus was estimated using uncorrected “p” distances with the program MEGA.


The haptoral hook of Gyrodactylus chiapaneco n. sp. are similar to G. poeciliae from Venezuela; those from Gyrodactylus guatopotei n. sp. resemble the sclerites of G. turnbulli from Singapore and G. pictae from Trinidad, and the haptoral hooks of Gyrodactylus tlaloci n. sp. are comparable to those of G. pseudobullatarudis and G. zapoteco from Mexico; most of these parasites were described from poeciliid fishes, except G. zapoteco which was recently described from Profundulus oxacae from Oxaca, Mexico. The sequences of the three new species were aligned with sequences of 26 other Gyrodactylus spp. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses indicated that the three new taxa are members with well-supported lineages—the new taxa are the first species of Gyrodactylus to be described from Poeciliopsis hnilickai and Tlaloc labialis from Chiapas.


Gyrodactylus chiapaneco n. sp., Gyrodactylus guatopotei n. sp. and Gyrodactylus tlaloci n. sp. are described based on morphological and molecular analyses. Two of the three new species of Gyrodactylus described here, and both roughly fall morphologically and molecularly into the group of parasites harbouring slender marginal hooks: G. chiapaneco n. sp. and G. tlaloci n. sp. both possess marginal sclerites with slim shafts and group phylogenetically with other gyrodactylids of similar marginal hook morphology. Gyrodactylus guatopotei n. sp. groups with gyrodactylids possessing marginal hooks with quite elongated shafts, most of which have been found infecting poeciliids in the Antilles (e.g. G. pictae and G. turnbulli). Poeciliid, profundulid and goodeid fishes are morphologically and ecologically similar and nowadays live in sympatry or close geographical distance in Mesoamerica.

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We thank the staff at Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas for allowing us the use of facilities and for their help collecting fish in the field: Wilfredo Matamorros, Ernesto Velázquez Velázquez, Manuel J. Anzueto Calvo, Juan Anzueto Calvo, Ismael Aguilar Pérez and Jorge L. Lievano Trujillo. Thanks to Luis García-Prieto from the Colección Nacional de Helmintos (CNHE), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) for the loan of Gyrodactylus type material. We also want to thank the two reviewers who very kindly took their time to review the manuscript. Field sampling was performed according to Mexican codes of practice and received approval of the Mexican Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Nturales (SEMARNAT) (permit no. FAUT-0105) to GSM.


This research was supported by grant PAPIIT IN203016 awarded to Guillermo Salgado-Maldonado by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico. AGV thanks INECOL for her postdoctoral fellowship.

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GSM, MRG conceived and designed the study, AGV, CDPP, IGV collected the specimens and performed the morphological, structural and molecular analyses. All authors wrote the paper and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Adriana García-Vásquez.

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García-Vásquez, A., Pinacho-Pinacho, C.D., Guzmán-Valdivieso, I. et al. New Species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 from Native Fish from Chiapas, Mexico, Studied by Morphology and Molecular Analyses. Acta Parasit. 64, 551–565 (2019).

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  • Freshwater fish
  • Integrative taxonomy
  • Mexico
  • ITS
  • Gyrodactylus