This study describes a new aporocotylid genus and species, Skoulekia meningialis n. gen., n. sp. which was detected in the ectomeningeal veins surrounding the optic lobes of the brain of the common two-banded seabream Diplodus vulgaris (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817) from the Gulf of Valencia (Mediterranean Sea). A detailed morphological description of S. meningialis is provided, including drawings, measurements and scanning electron microscopy images as well as a phylogenetic study of S. meningialis and closely related taxa using DNA sequence data obtained from whole ITS2 and partial 18S and 28S rDNA regions. Morphology as well as molecular phylogeny strongly support the erection of a new genus and demonstrate its close relationship with the genera Psettarium (Goto & Ozaki, 1930) and Pearsonellum Overstreet & Køie, 1989. Skoulekia is the second aporocotylid genus described in the Sparidae, a family including economical important fishes. In contrast to the majority of the aporocotylids, which inhabit the heart or the blood vessels of the gills, S. meningialis inhabits the ectomeningeal veins surrounding the optic lobes. Eggs were found trapped within the gill vessels. Normally, blood fluke pathology is almost exclusively related to the eggs. However, in the case of S. meningialis, main histopathological alterations were related to the adult blood flukes which were found to cause mild localised meningitis. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- 18S, 28S and ITS2 rDNA phylogeny
- Aporocotylidae (syn. Sanguinicolidae)
- Skoulekia meningialis