A new species of Gyrodactylus (Monogenea, Gyrodactylidae), an ectoparasite from the endemic Iranocichla hormuzensis (Teleostei, Cichlidae), the only Iranian cichlid

  • Maarten P.M. Vanhove
  • Walter A. Boeger Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Fidel Muterezi Bukinga Centre de Recherche en Hydrobiologie - Uvira
  • Filip A.M. Volckaert KU Leuven
  • Tine Huyse KU Leuven
  • Antoine Pariselle Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
Keywords: Gyrodactylus jalalii sp. nov., Oreochromini, Platyhelminthes, Perciformes, species description


Iranocichla hormuzensis occupies a biogeographically peculiar position. This endemic of southern Iran is the only Iranian cichlid. While it is phylogenetically related to African oreochromine members of the cichlid family, it remains unclear how it has dispersed into its current range. It is one of the many lasting enigmas of cichlid biogeography. Monogenean fish parasites may provide useful additional information in such cases. Therefore, I. hormuzensis was examined for these flatworms. A gyrodactylid parasite is reported and compared to congeners from the Palearctic and from cichlids. In this way, we verify whether it shows affinities to parasites from fishes that are either biogeographically or phylogenetically close to Iranocichla hormuzensis. The species is new to science and described as Gyrodactylus jalalii sp. nov. This is the first description of a parasite infecting I. hormuzensis. Because of the fixation method or age of the material, DNA could not be isolated. Due to the lack of genetic data, no conclusions can be drawn on its phylogenetic positioning. Indeed, Gyrodactylus phylogeny cannot be inferred from morphological characteristics alone. Moreover, the congeners phenotypically reminiscent of the new species belong to a Gyrodactylus clade which is highly diverse in geographic range and host choice. Hence, there is no evidence linking the new species to an exclusively African or cichlid-bound Gyrodactylus lineage.

Author Biography

Maarten P.M. Vanhove
PhD student - fellow of FWO-VlaanderenLaboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary GenomicsDepartment of BiologyKU LeuvenIchthyology UnitAfrican Zoology DepartmentRoyal Museum for Central Africa


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How to Cite
Vanhove, M. P., Boeger, W. A., Muterezi Bukinga, F., Volckaert, F. A., Huyse, T., & Pariselle, A. (2012). A new species of Gyrodactylus (Monogenea, Gyrodactylidae), an ectoparasite from the endemic Iranocichla hormuzensis (Teleostei, Cichlidae), the only Iranian cichlid. European Journal of Taxonomy, (30). https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2012.30