Taxonomic Status of Neoechinorhynchus agilis (Acanthocephala, Neoechinorhynchidae), with a Description of Two New Species of the Genus from the Atlantic and Pacific Mullets (Teleostei, Mugilidae)

Tkach, Ie. V., Sarabeev, V. L., Shvetsova, L. S.



The wide variability in morphological features, geographical and host ranges of mullet acanthocephalan parasite Neoechinorhynchus agilis (Rudolphi, 1819), raises the question of taxonomic status of this species. Rudolphi’s type and Yamaguti`s voucher specimens, as well as our own material from the WW Pacifi c and NE Atlantic region were used herein to provide comparative morphological analysis. Th e study revealed three different species of Neoechinorhynchus, N. (N.) agilis and N. (H.) personatus Tkach, Sarabeev et Shvetsova, sp. n. in the Atlantic and N. (H.) yamagutii Tkach, Sarabeev et Shvetsova, sp. n. in the Pacific. Strong morphological and morphometric differences were found between three described herein species from diff erent hosts and regions. The dividing of N. agilis into three species, two of them are new, provides a basis for the further revision of host-geographical records of mullet acanthocephalan parasites.