Spinitectus osorioi (Nematoda: Cystidicolidae) is described from the freshwater atherinids Chirostoma estor and Chirostoma attenuatum from Lake Pátzcuaro in the Mesa Central, Michoacán State, México. This nematode is characterized by a conspicuous protuberance on the ventral surface of the distal end of the long spicule that distinguishes it from its congeners in North America and in the neotropics. In addition, the species can be readily distinguished from 4 of the 5 nominal species of North American freshwater Spinitectus by the absence of either a terminal barb or heel on the short spicule and from Spinitectus mexicanus by the spination. Previous records of Spinitectus carolini from Chirostoma spp. in México (Lakes Pátzcuaro and Zirahuén) refer to S. osorioi, and the species appears to be specific to Chirostoma spp. The geological history of the Mesa Central drainages and the historical biogeography of freshwater atherinids in this region suggest that the origin of S. osorioi may be associated with either the marine history of their hosts or with host-switching from more distantly related freshwater hosts after colonization of freshwater environments by atherinids.

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