Spiracanthus bovichthys n. gen. n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Arhythmacanthidae), a Parasite of Littoral Fishes of the Central South Coast of Chile
George Nascimento, Mario
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A new acanthocephalan species, Spiracanthus bovichthys n. gen. n. sp., is described. Samples were taken from 26 marine fish species between 23 and 53 degrees S of Chile. The parasite was found in the intestine of 6 species and only between 36 and 40 degrees S, especially in those fish that prey on small crustaceans in the upper and sublittoral zone. The parasite was found in Bovichthys chilensis (Reagan). Auchenionchus variolosus (Valenciennes), Calliclinus genigutattus (Valenciennes), Sindoscopus australis (Fowler and Bean), Myxodes cristatus Valenciennes, and Gobiesox marmoratus (Jenyns). However, only the first species is a suitable host for the parasite as evidenced by the presence of mature females. This acanthocephalan belongs to Arhythmacanthidae, but it does not correspond to any genus described. Spiracanthus bovichthys is different in the number and spiralled distribution of its hooks in the proboscis. In the short proboscis, 3 groups of hooks are distinguished according to size, summing up to 150-190 hooks. The group of largest hooks are found in the apical part of the proboscis, and there are 10 diagonal rows of small hooks from the prebasal to basal proboscis. Its trunk is covered partially by small spines. Amphipod and isopods were the prey items shared among the host fish species and are the best candidates to be the intermediate hosts of S. bovichthys.