Molecular assessment of three species of Anilocra (Isopoda, Cymothoidae) ectoparasites from Caribbean coral reef fishes, with the description of Anilocra brillae sp. n.

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A morphological review and molecular characterization of Anilocra haemuli Bunkley Williams & Williams, 1981, were completed using specimens collected from Haemulon flavolineatum Desmarest, 1823 (French grunt) and Epinephelus guttatus Linnaeus, 1758 (red hind). Molecular and morphological data suggest that the isopods parasitizing H. flavolineatum and E. guttatus are different species. The specimens collected from E. guttatus are recognized as a new species, Anilocra brillae sp. n. Differences between Anilocra brillae sp. n. and A. haemuli include but are not limited to the pleonites 1–3 of A. brillae sp. n. being wider than 4–5 and 4–5 subequal, whereas the pleonites 1–2 of A. haemuli are wider than 3–5, and 3–5 are subequal. The seventh pereopod of A. brillae sp. n. is proportionally larger, has more robust setae, and the setae are distributed more extensively over the articles when compared to A. haemuli. Additionally, this study provides the first genetic characterization of three Anilocra spp. from the Caribbean, and is based on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit gene (COI) for A. haemuli from H. flavolineatum, A. brillae sp. n. from E. guttatus, and A. chromis Bunkley Williams & Williams, 1981 from Chromis multilineata Guichenot, 1853