Plagioporus ictaluri n. sp. and Plagioporus carolini n. sp. are described from the intestines of the Ouachita Madtom, Noturus lachneri, and the Banded Sculpin, Cottus carolinae, respectively, from adjacent drainages in Arkansas. The new species are morphologically most similar to one another and in turn similar to Plagioporus sinitsini, Plagioporus chiliticorum, Plagioporus serratus, and Plagioporus hypentelii, but they can be distinguished from these congeners in possession of an excretory vesicle that extends anteriorly to the level of the anterior testis as opposed to 1 reaching only the posterior testis (P. hypentelii) or 1 confined to the posttesticular space (P. sinitsini, P. serratus, and P. chiliticorum), a feature that necessitates altering the generic diagnosis for the genus. Plagioporus ictaluri n. sp. is distinguished from Plagioporus carolini n. sp. in having tandem vs. oblique testes, a submedian to median ovary as opposed to 1 that is dextral, a ventral sucker occupying 53–71% of the body width (BW) vs. 80–92% of the BW, an oral sucker occupying 36–47% of the BW as opposed to 49–58% of the BW, and a pharynx occupying 21–26% of the BW compared to 28–36% of the BW. A Bayesian inference analysis of partial 28S rDNA sequences of the 2 new species and those of 34 opecoelids obtained from GenBank found that P. ictaluri and P. carolini formed a highly supported clade that was sister to P. chiliticorum and in turn to P. sinitsini. These 4 species are notably the only Nearctic plagioporids included in the analysis without a uterus extending to the posterior end that lack a confluent vitelline field in the posttesticular space. This study includes the first species of Plagioporus to be described from an ictalurid host and the first species in the genus to be described from a cottid east of the Rocky Mountains.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2