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A new genus of parasitic copepod (Siphonostomatoida: Caligidae) from the razorback scabbardfish, Assurger anzac (Trichiuridae) off New Caledonia.

Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Folia parasitologica (Impact Factor: 2.52). 12/2005; 52(4):349-58.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A new genus and species, Avitocaligus assurgericola gen. et sp. n., of the family Caligidae is established based on an ovigerous female collected from a razorback scabbardfish, Assurger anzac (Alexander), caught off New Caledonia. This is the first record of any parasitic copepod from this fish. The new genus is placed in the Caligidae since it possesses the caligid cephalothorax incorporating the first to third pedigerous somites. It also exhibits biramous first and fourth swimming legs but lacks dorsal plates on the fourth pedigerous somite. This combination of characters serves to differentiate the new genus from existing genera. In addition, it possesses loosely coiled, uniseriate egg sacs, concealed between the middle lamellar plates on the genital complex and the ventral plates on the abdomen. Preliminary phylogenetic analysis with a restricted matrix suggests that the new genus represents the earliest offshoot from the main caligid lineage since it does not exhibit the dominant exopod on the fourth swimming leg found in all other members of the Caligidae, including the genus Euryphorus. It strongly supports the newly recognized monophyletic status of the Caligidae, incorporating the genera formerly placed in the Euryphoridae.

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