Ligophorus mugilinus was originally described on the flathead mullet Mugil cephalus from the Gulf of Mexico. The species was later recorded in the Mediterranean Sea on the flathead mullet and in the Caribbean Sea on the white mullet Mugil curema. After examination of the type material and additional specimens of Ligophorus from the northwest Atlantic coast, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean and Black Sea, we observed morphological differences concerning haptoral and male copulatory structures between L. mugilinus from the northwest Atlantic and the forms from the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Accordingly, the latter specimens are described as a new species, Ligophorus mediterraneus n. sp. A redescription of L. mugilinus, including new morphometric data, is also given. The morphometric analysis of the Caribbean specimens suggested that their ascription to L. mugilinus is uncertain, but additional material is needed to clarify their specific identity. The results of this study, together with previous zoogeographical evidence, indicate that flathead mullets from different seas harbor different species complexes of Ligophorus. Given the coastal habits of the host, it is suggested that open oceans could act as geographical barriers favoring speciation within disjointed flathead mullet populations.

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