Fish parasites of the Multivalvulida (Myxozoa, Myxosporea) are widespread and can be associated with mortality or poor flesh quality in their commercially important marine hosts. Traditional classifications divide members of this order into families based on spore valve and polar capsule numbers. Analyses of the small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences from all representative families in the order (Trilosporidae, Kudoidae, Pentacapsulidae, Hexacapsulidae, and Septemcapsulidae) indicate that a revision of the taxonomy and nomenclature is warranted. In our phylogenetic analysis of (SSU and large subunit) rDNA sequences, members of Pentacapsula, Hexacapsula, and Septemcapsula root within a clade of Kudoa species with Unicapsula (Trilosporidae) as an outlier to these genera. Therefore, we propose to synonymize Pentacapsulidae, Hexacapsulidae, and Septemcapsulidae with Kudoidae alter the diagnosis of Kudoidae and Kudoa to accommodate all marine myxozoan parasites having 4 or more shell valves and polar capsules.
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