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The discovery of Lepeophtheirus acutusHeegaard, 1943 (Copepoda: Caligidae) from two new elasmobranch hosts in the Mediterranean Sea, and a comparative redescription of Lepeophtheirus rhinobati Luque, Chaves et Cezar, 1998

Argun Akif Özak, Alper Yanar, Yetkin Sakarya and Geoffrey Allan Boxshall
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


In this study, supplementary information on the morphology of the siphonostomatoid copepod Lepeophtheirus acutus Heller, 1865 is given based on new material collected from the ventral body surface and mouth cavity of common guitarfish, Rhinobatos rhinobatos (Linnaeus) and from the branchial cavity of bull ray, Aetomylaeus bovinus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire) caught in Iskenderun Bay, Turkey. This is the first report of L. acutus from Mediterranean waters. Key diagnostic characters of both sexes are reported, supported by light and scanning electron microscopy observations. In addition, Lepeophtheirus rhinobati Luque, Chaves et Cezar, 1998, which is closely related to L. acutus and has been reported from the same host genus, Rhinobatos, is reexamined based on paratypes stored in the collections of the United States National Museum of Natural History. Some of the key diagnostic characters which were incompletely known or lacking in the original description of both sexes of L. rhinobati are redescribed and/or presented for the first time.

  1. Funding: This research was funded by the Cukurova University academic research projects unit (Project No. FBA-2017-8618).

  2. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

  3. Ethical approval: All applicable institutional, national, and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


We would like to thank T. Chad Walter (USNM) for arranging the loan of the paratypes of Lepeophtheirus rhinobati to GAB. We would also like to thank Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kasim Ocakoglu, Head of the Advanced Technologies Research & Application Center (MEITAM) of the University of Mersin, Turkey, and Prof. Süphan Karaytuğ and Ms. Seher Kuru from Mersin University for their administrative and technical support during the SEM.


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Received: 2018-01-03
Revised: 2018-02-03
Accepted: 2018-03-29
Published Online: 2018-07-04
Published in Print: 2018-09-25

© 2018 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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