The status of the trematode Aponurus laguncula Looss, 1907 in the western Mediterranean is re-assessed by means of a comparative morphological study and rDNA sequences based on newly collected material. A. laguncula (sensu stricto) is redescribed from Trachinus draco L. and a new cryptic species of the 'A. laguncula complex', Aponurus mulli n. sp., is described on the basis of abundant material from Mullus barbatus L. (type-host) and M. surmuletus L. off the Spanish Mediterranean coasts. The new species is differentiated from A. laguncula (sensu stricto) by its: significantly larger, elongate body, with maximum width at the level of the ventral sucker; shorter forebody; distinctly larger sinus-sac, seminal receptacle and seminal vesicle, with the latter also being more elongate; vesicular pars prostatica; more anteriorly located vitellarium, which consists of eight globular follicles; and distinctly smaller eggs, which are also smaller in relation to body size and have both their opercular and anopercular poles rounded. The variability and the allometric growth of the morphological characters in the new species were studied in detail, resulting in additional distinguishing features. Sequences of the large subunit rRNA (28S) gene (domains D1-D3) and ITS2 rRNA gene region for the new species have been submitted to GenBank in order to enhance future studies on species differentiation within the 'A. laguncula complex'. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.