ABSTRACT

CardicolaShort, 1953 is the most speciose aporocotylid genus (35 species) and includes marine and estuarine species of fish blood flukes that infect “higher ray-finned fishes” (Euteleostei). Several clades within Cardicola are recovered in phylogenetic analyses of the large subunit ribosomal DNA (28S), but morphological synapomorphies for those nucleotide-based clades remain elusive. The type species, Cardicola cardiocola (Manter, 1947) Short, 1953, has not been recollected in 73 yr and the original description was incomplete; making a genus revision challenging because of the ambiguous systematic position of its type species. Herein, we redescribe C. cardiocola by using the holotype (USNM 1337732) and new specimens collected from the type host, jolthead porgy, Calamus bajonado (Sparidae), from nearby the type locality. It differs from its congeners by the combination of having a body that is 5 times longer than wide, an anterior sucker with concentric rows of spines, 2–6 tegumental body spines per row, an esophageal gland that is 22–43% of the esophageal length, a testis that is 3–5 times longer than wide and that fills the intercecal space, a vitelline duct connecting to the anterior aspect of the oötype, an ascending uterus that lacks any coil, a descending uterus yielding a single coil, an obvious cirrus sac separated by constriction from the seminal vesicle, a tegumental protrusion surrounding the terminal end of cirrus sac, and a male genital pore that is posterior to the remainder of the genitalia. We also describe a new congener infecting the heart of yellowedge grouper, Hyporthodus flavolimbatus (Serranidae), from the Gulf of Mexico. It differs from its congeners by the combination of having an anterior sucker that does not extend beyond the anterior body margin, 2–5 tegumental body spines per row, posterior ceca that are 9 times length of the anterior ceca and that lack any coil, a testis that is 3 times longer than wide and that does not fill the intercecal space, an ovary that is >60% of the body width, a vitelline duct that connects to the anterior aspect of the oötype, a uterus that is >10% of the body width and that extends posterior to all genitalia, and a rounded posterior body margin. It is the first species of Cardicola to be described from a grouper (Serranidae). The 28S and internal transcribed spacer 2 phylogenetic analyses recovered the new species as a distinct lineage within the clade of Cardicola spp.

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