Abstract:

Eggs and larvae of Huffmanela oleumimica n. sp. infect red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus (Poey, 1860), were collected from the Texas–Louisiana Shelf (28°16′36.58″N, 93°03′51.08″W) and are herein described using light and scanning electron microscopy. Eggs in skin comprised fields (1–5 × 1–12 mm; 250 eggs/mm2) of variously oriented eggs deposited in dense patches or in scribble-like tracks. Eggs had clear (larvae indistinct, principally vitelline material), amber (developing larvae present) or brown (fully developed larvae present; little, or no, vitelline material) shells and measured 46–54 μm ( = 50; SD ± 1.6; n = 213) long, 23–33 (27 ± 1.4; 213) wide, 2–3 (3 ± 0.5; 213) in eggshell thickness, 18–25 (21 ± 1.1; 213) in vitelline mass width, and 36–42 (39 ± 1.1; 213) in vitelline mass length with protruding polar plugs 5–9 (7 ± 0.6; 213) long and 5–8 (6 ± 0.5; 213) wide. Fully developed larvae were 160–201 (176 ± 7.9) long and 7–8 (7 ± 0.5) wide, had transverse cuticular ridges, and were emerging from some eggs within and beneath epidermis. The new species differs from its congeners by having eggs <65 μm in total length and that have a brown eggshell when fully developed, an envelope throughout development, and irregularly-dispersed eggshell spines plus a larva >110 μm long with transverse cuticular ridges. The eggs lack a spindle-shaped envelope, polar filaments, and eggshell ridges. This is the first report of a species of Huffmanela from a snapper (Lutjanidae) or from the Gulf of Mexico. A table of egg and larval characteristics, hosts, and localities for Huffmanela spp. is provided.

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