Phylogenetic relationships amongst Chloromyxum Mingazzini, 1890 (Myxozoa: Myxosporea), and the description of six novel species from Australian elasmobranchs.
ABSTRACT Six novel species of Chloromyxum Mingazzini, 1890 are described using a whole evidence approach combining morphometric and molecular data, together with features of their biology. Elasmobranchs were collected in Australian waters, from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, off Lizard and Heron Islands; from Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland; off Hobart, Tasmania; and from the Tamar River, Launceston, Tasmania. The novel species proposed here are: Chloromyxum hemiscyllii n.sp. from Hemiscyllium ocellatum; Chloromyxum kuhlii n.sp. from Neotrygon kuhlii; Chloromyxum lesteri n.sp. from Cephaloscyllium laticeps; Chloromyxum mingazzinii n.sp. from Pristiophorus nudipinnis; Chloromyxum myliobati n.sp. from Myliobatis australis; and Chloromyxum squali n.sp. from Squalus acanthias. A seventh species from Squalus acanthias is also reported but due to limited material is not formally described. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that the genus Chloromyxum is polyphyletic, and species from elasmobranchs form a well-supported sister clade, with the type species Chloromyxum leydigi, to all other congeneric species clustering within the freshwater myxosporean clade. Morphological analysis showed that elasmobranch-infecting species are predominantly pyriform shaped, have clearly thickened spore apex and possess caudal filaments, compared to other Chloromyxum species which are generally spherical or subspherical, and lack caudal filaments. These morphological and phylogenetic data provide further support for the erection of new genera, but we conservatively consider the species described in this study and other elasmobranch-infecting Chloromyxum species as Chloromyxum sensu strictu, whilst the freshwater teleost infecting and amphibian infecting species we will assign as Chloromyxum sensu lato, until more comprehensive data are available.