Sphaerospora testicularis sp. nov. (Myxosporea: Sphaerosporidae) in wild and cultured sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.), from the Spanish Mediterranean area


A. Sitja-Bobadilla, Institute de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal (I.A.T.S.) (C.S.I.C.), Ribera de Cabanes, 12595 Castellón, Spain.


Abstract. A new myxosporean, Sphaerospora testicularis sp. nov., was found in fresh smears from the organs of wild and cultured sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.), and seminal fluid from spermiating cultured males. It is distinguished from all previously reported Sphaerospora spp, by the shape and dimensions of the mature spore, its location and the host and its geographical distribution. Only males were parasitized; 2.5% of the wild fish and 6-25% of the cultured fish were infected. In spermiating cultured males, the prevalence of infection increased progressively from 6-9 to 75% during the study period. The parasite causes destruction of the tubular tissue of testes and a reduction or loss of spermatozoa.