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A new species of the genus Enoplocotyle (Plateyhelminthes: Monogenea) parasitic on the skin the moray eel Gymnothorax kidako in Japan, with observations on hatching and the oncomiracidium

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Abstract

The anatomy of the monogenean Enoplocotyle kidakoi sp. nov., a skin parasite of the moray eel, Gymnothorax kidako, in Japan, is described. E. kidakoi is readily distinguishable from the other two members of the genus, namely E. minima and E. hawaiiensis, by the structure of the copulatory apparatus, which is supported by two independent tubular sclerites. The oncomiracidium of E. kidakoi is unciliated and has no trace of hamuli or a pseudohaptor. The relationship between Enoplocotyle spp. and other monogeneans is discussed and previous suggestions that Enoplocotyle and the acanthocotylids share a common ancestry are supported. This affinity is recognized by the inclusion of the Enoplocotylidae with the Acanthocotylidae in a newly-defined superfamily, the Acanthocotyloidea. Eggs of E. kidakoi require to make contact with host skin before hatching takes place.

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