Description of a new species of Aethycteron Suriano & Beverley-Burton, 1982 (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae) on the gills of the rare striated darter, Etheostoma striatulum Page & Braasch (Perciformes: Percidae), from the Duck River, Tennessee, USA

  • Kara M. MillionEmail author
  • Bruce W. Stallsmith


The striated darter (Etheostoma striatulum Page & Braasch) is a rare fish species restricted to the Duck River system in Maury County, Tennessee, USA. In this paper we describe Aethycteron striatuli n. sp., a gill parasite from a genus that has specialised on darters as the parasites’ preferred hosts. Aethycteron striatuli morphologically resembles A. malleus (Mueller, 1938), A. robisoni Cloutman & McAllister, 2017, A. chlorosomus (Harrises & Vickery, 1970) and A. micropercae Suriano & Beverley-Burton, 1982. It is distinguished from other species in that it is one of the smallest described parasites in this genus to date and possesses a small male copulatory organ with a distinct accessory piece. This is the first monogenean parasite reported from E. striatulum, a species that is currently under threat due to its restricted range and the potential for habitat loss. It is essential to expand our knowledge of the host and the pressures it faces in its limited habitat, including disease and parasite pressures, so that measures can be taken to preserve this vulnerable native species.



We thank Crissy L. Tarver and Joshua Mann for assistance with the field collections for this study. We thank James Powers and the Indiana University Light Microscopy Imaging Center for assistance with the photography of the parasite specimens. Kenneth F. Garcia provided etymology consultation for the naming of the new parasite species. This research was supported by funding from Indiana University Bloomington and University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. A scientific collecting permit was issued to BWS by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA

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