A new nematode species, Spauligodon nicolauensis n. sp., is described from geckos Tarentola bocagei and Tarentola nicolauensis on the island of São Nicolau, Cape Verde. The new nematode was found in the pellets obtained directly from the geckos in a non-invasive fashion, and its identity was assessed both at morphologic and genetic levels. The new species has morphological similarities with Spauligodon tarentolae Spaul, 1926, also parasitizing geckos from the Canary Islands. However, the male cloacal region in the new species is distinct, presenting a different shape of the caudal papillae. The overall resemblance probably resulted from colonization via descent from an ancestor of S. tarentolae carried by the ancestor of Cape Verde Tarentola. The analysis of nuclear DNA sequences confirms that the new species is phylogenetically distinct from all other Spauligodon species already analyzed, forming a group clearly separated from species parasitizing lacertid lizards. The COI genetic distance suggests that the S. nicolauensis n. sp. found in the 2 species of geckos in São Nicolau Island may have resulted from a host-switching event, when they came into contact after the unification of the island.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1