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Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae: Heterocotylinae) from the gills of a captive onefin electric ray, Narke capensis (Narkidae) at Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa.
journal contributionposted on 15.01.2020, 00:00 by David VaughanDavid Vaughan, LA Chisholm, H Hansen
Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) is described from the gills of a captive female onefin electric ray, Narke capensis, collected for exhibition at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. Electrocotyle n. gen. is most similar to the heterocotyline genera Heterocotyle and Potamotrygonocotyle but could not be accommodated easily in either of these groups. The new genus is characterised by a haptor with one central and eight peripheral loculi, four unsclerotised structures on the dorsal surface of the haptor, a single unsclerotised non-sinous ridge on the ventral surface of the haptoral septa, large hamuli with a long handle and reduced guard, a vagina with sclerotised walls, and tetrahedral eggs. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 28S sequences strongly support the separate genus status of Electrocotyle n. gen and thus support our morphological conclusion. The Heterocotylinae is amended to accommodate the new genus, and the new species is fully described and illustrated herein. This is the first record of a monocotylid from the Narkidae. Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen. n. sp. is considered potentially pathogenic given its negative impact on the health of its captive host kept in the quarantine facility at Two Oceans Aquarium.